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Full text of "History of the pioneer settlement of Phelps and Gorham's purchase, and Morris' reserve [microform] : embracing the counties of Monroe, Ontario, Livingston ... : to which is added, a supplement, or extension of the pioneer history of Monroe County : the whole preceded by some account of French and English dominion, border wars of the revolution, Indian councils and land cessions, the progress of settlement westward from the valley of the Mohawk ..."

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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1851, by Wir. Alling, in tlie Clerk's 
Office of the District Court of the Northern District of New York. 

Stereotyped by 
J. w. nuowjf, Rocliester. 

rniNTEn by lee, maxn & oo., 
Rochester, JV. Y, 










To the first, — as a feeble tribute, a moiety of what is their due, for the 
ph3,sical and moral triumphs they have won through long early years of toil, 
privation and endurance. In view of the brief space allotted to man by an 
All Wise Providence, as an average existence — (uo more than thirty 
fleeting yeara constituting a generation) — you live to be the witnesses of 
more than it is often given to man to see. The wilderness you entered in your 
youths — some of you in middle age — you have lived to see not only 
"blossom as the rose," but to bear its matured and ripened fruit. ^Vhere 
you have followed the trails of your immediate predecessors — the Seneca 
Iroquois -- or your own woods paths, are Canals, Rail Roads and Telegraphs. 
A long line of internal navigation — an artificial River — bearing upon its 
bosom the products of your own subdued, teeming soil, and continuous fleets, 
laden with the products of an Empire, that has sprung up around the bor- 
ders of our Western Lakes — winds along through vallies that you have seen 
but the abodes of wild beasts; from whose depths you have heard in your 
log cabins, the terrific howl of the famishing wolf ! Aqueducts, structures 
that the architects of the old worid might take for models, span the streams you 
have often forded, and over wliich you have helped to throw primitive log 
bridges. And upon these Lakes, whose commerce you have seen to consist 
of a few batteaux, lazily coasting along near shore, putting into bays and inlets, 
whenever the elements were disturbed — are fleets of sail vessels, and "float- 
ing palaces," propelled by a mighty agent, whose powers were but little 
known when you began to wield the axe in the forests of the Genesee coun- 
try. A subtle agent was occasionally fljishing in the dark forests, indicating 
its power by scathing and levelling its taU trees; then but partiaUy subdued 
to man's use; now tamed, hai^essed, control' 3d; traversing those wirea and 
bringing the extremes of this extended Union to hold convene mth each 
other with the "rapidity of thought,"— more than realizing the boasts of 
the spirit of the poet's imagination, who would 

'• Put a girdle 'round the Earth in thirty minutes !" 




Villages, cities, institutions of religion and learning, are upon sites where 
you have, seen the dark shades of the forest rest wi.h a profound stillness, 
that you could hardly have expected to see disturbed by the hand of improve- 
ment. But more than all this, you have lived to see an extended region of 
wilderness converted inlx> fruitful fields ; a landscape every where interspersed 
with comfortable, often luxurious, fai-m buildings; surrounded by all the evi- 
dences of substantial, unsurpassed prosperity. Who else that have planted 
colonies, founded settlement*, have lived to see such consummations ? Peaceful, 
bloodless, and yet glorious ! The conquerous upon battle fields have been 
destroyei-s; you, creatore; they, have made fields desolate; you, have clothed 
them with smiUng promise and full fruition. The)', have brought mourning; 
you, rejoicing. Theirs, was the physical courage of a day, perhaps of a for- 
tunate hour; youi-s, was the higher and nobler attribute — the moral courage 
— the spirit of endurance and perseverance, that held out through long years 
of sufiering and privation ; that looked dangers and difficulties in the face, 
till they became famiUar associates. In the retrospect of well-spent lives — 
in view of the consummation of the great work of civilization and improve- 
ment, you have helped to commence and carry on — now that the shades of 
evening are gathering around you — now that you are admonished that your 
work upon earth is done — well may you say : — " Now Lord lettest thou 
thy servant depart in peace.^'' 

To the second, — as the inheritors of a rich legacy, the fruits of the 
achievments, of the long years of enterj^rise, toil, fortitude and perseverance, 
of those Pioneer Fathers; the conservatoi-s of their memories. Honors, titles, 
stars and garters, such as kings may bestow, are baubles compared with what 
they have bequeathed ! Far most of them breaking out from their quiet 
New England homes, in youth, and strength, went firet to the battle field, 
where it was the strong against the wealc, the oppressor against the oppressed, 
and helped to win a glorious national inheritance ; then, after a short respite, 
came to this primitive region, and won a local inheritance for you, fair and 
fertile, as rich in all the elements of prosperity and happiness, as any that 
the sun of Heaven shines upon ! Guard the trust in a spirit of gratitude ; 
cherish the memories of the Pioneers ; imitate their stern virtues ; preserAc 
and carry on the work they have so well begun ! 

And both will accept this tribute, from the son of a Pioneer — one " who 
was to the manor bom," — who has essayed to snatch from fading memories, 
gather from imperfect records, and preserve these local Reminiscences ; — and 
who, most of all regrets, that in the execution of the task, he has not been able 
to recognize more of the names and the deeds of the Found eus of settle- 
ments IN THE Genesee Country. The Author. 





[by W. H. 0. H081IKE, ESQ.] 

High was the homage Senates paid 
To the plumed Conquerors of old, 

And freely, at tlieir feet were laid. 
Rich piles of flasliiiig gems and gold. 

Proud History exliaustod thought, 

Glad bards awoke their vocal reeds; 
"VVliile Pliidian hands the marble wrought 

In honor of their wondrous deeds : 
But our undaunted Pioneers 

Have conquests more enduring won. 
In scattering the night of years. 

And opening forests to the sun ; 

And victors are tliey nobler far 
Than tlie helmed cliiefs of other times. 

Who rolled their chariots of war, 
To foreign lands, and distant climes. 

Earth groaned beneath their mail-clad men. 
Bereft of greenness where they trod. 

And wildly rose, from hill and glen, 
Loud, agonizing shrieks to God. 

Pur%'eyors of the carrion bird 

Blood streamed from their uplifted hands. 
And wliile the crash of States was heard. 

Passed on their desolating hordes. 

Then tell me not of heroes fled — 
Crime, renders foal their boasted fame. 

While widowed ones and orphans bled. 
They earned the pAantom of a name. 

The sons of our New England Sires, 

Armed with endurance, dared to roam 
Far from the hospitable fi es. 

And the bright, hallowed bowers of Home. 
The storm tliey met with bosoms bared. 

And bloodless triumphs bought by toil ; 
The wild boast from liis cavern scared. 

And clothed in bloom the virgin soil. 



Distemper leagued with famines wan, 
Ncned to a high resolve, tlioy bore ; 

And flocks, upon the thymy lawn, 
Eanged where the panther yelled before. 

Look now abroad ! the scene how changed, 

Wliere fifty fleeting years ago 
Clad in their savage costume ranged. 

The belted lords of shaft and bow. 

In praise of pomp let fawning Art 
Carve rocks to triumjjh over years, 

The grateful incense of the heart 
Give to our living Pioneees. 

Almighty I may thine out-sti-etched arm 
Guard through long ages, yet to be, 

From tread of slave, and kingly harm. 
Oca Eden of the Geneske. 


Page 131 — arta of peace, instead of " acts." 

Page 151— read sister instead of " daughter of Zachariah Seymour." 
Page 174— in note— Judge Taylor, should be in place of "Judge Wells. " 
Two references whicJi belong to ])age 325 are earned over to page 326. 
Page 483 — Shay's Rebellion — " General order" — ilate sliould have been 1786. 
Page 314 — 8th line, " after," should precede "his appointment." 
Page 416 — 9th line $200 instead of $2,00." 

Page 597— 15tli Une, receipts of Rochester P, 0., should be as iu a few lines above, 
:3,4b, instead of "|34G." 






'hJ^'o,: ■ :^•■^ 



I ^ ^ f ' f ""^'in^ed nearly one year since, the publication of which has been 
f£'rtt\^^°''^ tt«F°'ni«cd period, owing to causes unforBecn - princiLly to 
the fact that it is of greater magiiitude, and has fnvolved a fur greater amount o?£e 
labor and research than was anticii.ated - is now presented to the public ' 

1 lie general plan of it will hanfly be misunderstood by its readers : — It is a his- 
tory of the Pioneer, or first set. xement, of that portion of the Genesee Country em- 
braced m the purchiise of Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham of the State of M:^I 
sachusetto and the Seneca Indians, and of that portion purchased by Robert Morri. 
J^hth '"""^^ "I H' • "^A" V^^ ^""""^ Company. *rho boundaries of the Sn 
f!?™l ^V-'^If ^"'^ "! "'" ^'^}'' P''^''' «'"' '-^^^ "'""^ '^le-'irfy '''^fin^'d in the body of 
w y \r ^V-? ^''^ ?'^^™' ''"'^ "'"'^^y t^»° "lie half of what constitutes, pro,)erly 
Western New York ; its eastern boundary being the Massachusetts hue of pre-em Sn' 
fr«.„<f X" <=«™"''^»'=e8 with the advent of the French upon the St Lawrence, and 
traces their progress to this region, and along the shores o/ the Western Lakes to the 
smrFrench'do!^nfon'*^'^°"^"^"'^ *^° prominent events that foUowed under English 
Enough of colonial history has been embraced — that which tended in the direction 
ot our local region — to make such an induction to the main design of the work as 
l^n 5 1'''"!'^ *T? ""^°1^«» '=\«"'k «>• chronology of events, commencing wiUi the 
lanchng of the French upon the St. Lawrence, and continued through the period of 
Wfl'i' r"^ English occupancy As all this wa.s but incidental, it has been, geuemUy. 
bnefly disposed of, for tlie author w.-is admonished tliat his space would berequirt>d 
when he had entered upon a less beaten track. Yet he may venture to anticipate that 
even Jie s udent of history, will find sometliing of interest in this precedent portion 
of the work; for It IS not wholly an explored leld, and each new gleaner may bring 
something from it to add to the common stock of historical knowledge 
ti,: iTf the original design of the author to incorporate in the work, something of 
the history of our immediate predecessors, the Senecas. It was mainly abandoned 
however on learning tiiat a local author, quite competent for the task, (as his now 
Dublished work bears witnes.s,) was preparing for the press, a work which would em- 
.nT 'Til of Interest in their liistory.* Much of them, however, will be found 
scattered throughout a large portion of the work, and a separate chapter is appropriated 
to them, from the pen of a native, and resident of the Geneseo Valfey _ a scholar and 
a poet, whose famejias gone out far beyond our local region, and conferred credit upoa 
Its literature.t It;^ See chapter II, Part L uvii^muupou 

The colonial period passetl, — the local events of the Revolution briefly disposed 
ol; — Indian treaties commencing under tiie administration of George Clixton — 
the almost interminable difficulties in which the State, and individual purchasers 
were involved in with the Lessees, — the slow advance of settlement in tliis direc- 
ri'^.l^T'"'*' ^""["Jf ts next ;,n order. Much of all this has been drawn from authentic 
records, and did not previously exist in any connected printed record. 

1 he mam subject reached - settlement of the Genesee country commenced -a 
general plan of nan-ative, somewhat novel in its character was adopted : — History 
ana briet personal Biography, have been in a great measure blended. This has vastiv 
increased the labor of the work, but it is hoped it wiU be found to have added to ite 
uiterest It will readily oe inferred that it involved the necessity of selectin.' the 
most prominent of thr- Pioneers in each locaUty — those with whom could be blended 
most oi the Pioneer events. In almost every locality there ^aa been regretted omis- 
sions ; a failure to recognize all who should have been noticed. This has been pai-^ly 
the result of necessity, but oftener the neglect of those who had promised to furnish 
the required information. While tiie work contains more of names and sketches of 
personal history, tiiau are to be found in any other local annals that have been pub- 
lished in our countiy, there are hundreds of Pi oneer names reluctantly omitted. 

• " League of the.Iroquois," by Lewis H. Morgan, Esq., of Eochegter. 
1 W, H. C. Hosmer, Esq., of Avon. 



In a. 1 that relates to early difficulties with the Indians ; to tliroatened renewals of 
the Border Wars, after the settlement of Uie country commenced, the author lias been 
fortunate in the possession of authentic records, hitlierto neglected, which gives to 
the subjects a new and enhanced interest. The accounts of the treaties of Messrs. 
PicKERiNfi and CiiAriN, with the Indians, arc mostly derived from official coiTespon- 
dence ; while most of what relates to the councils held with them to obtain land ces- 
Hions west of tlie Seneca Lake, are derived from the manuscripts of Oliver Phelps 
and Thomas Morns, the principal actors in the scenes. 

The autlior cannot but coaclude, tliat poorly as the task may have been executed, 
It hafl been undertaken at a fortunate period. More than one half of this volume is 
made up from the reminiscences, the fading memories, of the living actors in the 
scenes descnlxid and tho cvent.s related. No tlian nino, wlio, iviihin tlie last ten 
months, have rendered in this way, essential senico, - ^vithout whoso assistance the 
■work must have been far more imperfect -- are either in their graves, or their memories 
are wholly impaired. 

The thanks of the author are especially duo to Henry O'Rielly, for the use of val- 
uable papers collected with reference to continuuig some historical researches, ho had 
so weU commenced ; to James H. Woods, for the use of papers of Chas. Williamsox ; 
to Oliver Phelps and James S. Wadswohtu, for the use of papers in their possession, 
as tlio representativea of Oliver Phelps and James Wadsworth ; to Johx Grkio and 
JosEPul'ELLOWsfor accoss to papers in their respective land offices; and especially 
to tho former, for the essential materials in his possession as tlie representative of 
Israel Chapih, and his son and successor, Isbael Cuapin ; to tlie managers of the 
Rochester Athameum, for free access to their valuable Lii^ary ; to 0. C. Clarke, of 
Albany, and S. B. B>jckley, of Yates, for valuable contributions; to numerous ther 
individuals, most of wliom are indicated in the body of the work. And to Lee Mann 
& Co., the Printers, and Wm. Alling, the PubUsher, for their liberal terms' and the 
business accommodation with which they have aided the enterprise. 

taf The manner of pubhshing is a n.aterial departure from the original intention. 
Instead of pubhshing one work, there wiU be four. This is the first of tlie series. 
1 hose that wiU follow in order— (and in rapid succession if no unforeseen difficulties 
occur) — will be: — P. and G. Purchase — Livingston and Allegany; — P. and G. 
P. -Ontario and Yates ;- P. and G. P. -Wayne. In this plan it is confidently 
behevod the interests of Author, Publisher and Purchaser, will he made to harmonize, 
it obviates the necessity of a large work of two volumes, and a high price, fatal to that 
general sale that a loeal work must have, within its scope, to remunerate the labor of 
Its preparation and defray the necessary expenses attending it. While the citizens of 
Monroe, for instance, will have all the general history of Phelps and Gorham's 
Purchase, i.nd Morris' Keserve — 493 octavo pages — brought down to a late Pioneer 
period ; they will not be under the necessity of purchasing at an an enhanced price, 
the mere local history of other counties. The only alteration there will ^le in the main 
body of tho work, m the subsequent volumes announced, will be<he correction of 
any material errors that are discovered; but there will be in each one of them the 
' Supplenient," or "Extension," of the Pioneer history of the counties, as in this in- 
stance — Monroe. 

The historical works which have been essential to the author's purposes, other than 
those duly credited, are : —Conquest of Canada, Travels of the Duke De la Roche- 
foucault Liancourt, Mary Jomison or the White Woman, History of Schoharie His- 
tory of Onondaga, History of Rochester. ' 

B^ There are no illustrations : — partly because the are not essential to liistorv 
but mamly because they enhance the cost beyond wiiat the sa'.s of any local work 
will warrant. Ihe leading object ha.s been in the mechanical execution of the work 
to furnish a large amount of reading matter, in a plain, neat and substantial manner at 
^ ^iSl.T'^^'.TrJ^ , ^^'i^C'*'' ^* "^^^^ probably be conceded, has been accomplished. 

1^ It will be observed, that little is said of the early history of Steuben In an 
early stage of the preparation of the wor'- the author was apprised that a local histo- 
ry oi that county, was preparing for the press. 

|lt«~Errors in names, in lates, in facts, wDl undoubtedly be discovered De- 
pending upon memories often infirm, one disagreeing with another, labor, weeks and 
months of careful research, could not wholly guard against them. O" With reference 
to the future enterprises announced, the author will be thankful for any corrections 
that may be commumcated to him personally, or through the mails. 





It was one hundred and sixteen years after ihe discovery of 
America by Columbus, before the occupancy of our race was tend- 
ing in this direction, and Europeans had made a permanent stand 
upon the St. Lawrence, under the auspices of France and Cham- 
plain. In all that time, there had been but occasional expeditions 
to our northern Atlantic const, of discovery, exploration, and 
occasional brief occupancy ; but no overt act of possession and 
dominion. The advent of Chamfllain, the founding of Quebec, from 
which events we date French colonization in America, was in 160S. 
One year previous, in 1607, an English expedition had entered the 
Chesapeake Bay and founded Jamestown, the oldest En^'^lish settle- 
ment in America. In 1009, Henry Hudson, an Englishman, in the 
employ of the East India Company of Holland, entered the bay 
of the river that bears his name, and sailed up the river as far as 
Albany. In 1621, permanent Dutch colonization commenced at 
New- York and Albany. In 1620 the first English colonists com- 
menced the permanent occupancy of New England at Plymouth. 

In tracing the advent of our race to our local region, French 
colonization and occupancy, must necessarily, take precedence. 
Western New- York, from an early period after the arrival of Cham- 
plain upon the St. Law.ence, — until 1759, — for almost a century 
and a haU' formed a portion of French Canada, or in a more ex- 
tended geographical designation, of New France. 

France, by priority of discovery, by navigators s&iling under her 
flag, and commissioned by her King, in an early period of partition 
among the nations of Europe, claimed the St. Lawrence and its 
tributary waters and all contiguous territory, as her part of the New 
World. Setting at defiance, as did England the papal bull of Pope 



Alexander VI., which conferred all of America, "its towns and 
cities" included, upon Spain and Portugal, her then King, Francis 
I. entered vigorously into the national competition for cofonial pos- 
sessions in America. While the English and Dutch were cruizing 
upon our southern and eastern coast,s, entering th^ bays, and mouths 
of their rivers, hesitating and vascillating in measures of permanent 
colonization ; and the Spaniards were making mixed advents of gold 
huntmg and romance, upon our south-western coast; the French 
were coasting off the mouth of the St. Lawrence, and unappallod by 
a rigorous climate, and rough and forbidding landscapes, resolvin(r 
upon colonization upon its banks. "Touch and take," was the 
order of the day ; with but little knowledge of the value of the vast 
region that had been discovered, of its capabilities and resources, 
but such as had been gained by navigators in a distant view of the 
coasts, and an occasional entrance into bays and rivers ; the splendid 
inheritance was parcelled out, or cla'med by the nations of Europe, 
as lightly and inconsiderately as if it had been of little worth. 

The subjects of France, as it would now seem, when such a vast 
field had been opened for possession ; after they had seen and heard 
of more promising and congenial regions, made but a poor choice 
of her share in the New World. We are left principally to con- 
jecture for the explanation : First, the broad stream of the St. Law- 
rence invited them to enter and explore it ; nc where were Europe- 
ans met by the natives with more friendly manifestations ; and a 
lucrative trade soon added to the inducements. It was a mighty 
flood that they saw pouring into the ocean, with a uniformity °that 
convinced them of the vast magnitude and extent of the region it 
drained. Though ice-bound for long and dreary months, when spring 
approached, its ^fetters gave way, and on rolled its rushing tide, a 
" swift witness" that it came from congenial regions embraced in 
their discovery. Beside, a " shorter route to the Indies," across this 
continent, was one of the prominent and early objects of European 
navigators, following the discovery of Columbus. It was in fact, a 
mam object, allied perhaps with visions of precious metals ;— for 
actual colonization, was at first but incidental to the leading objects.* 

* Upon the shoros of the Clicp.apcnkp, upon tho Hiid«iu and St. Lawrenoi-, iui-l in 
the bays ot New KnKlinul, tlic firKt inlonn;ition Houirlit after by Eiirop^-an adventure"* 
ol the natives, throiiij:h the niediiini of sij^nsjiad reference to the directions fronnvhich 
tne rivers flowed, and tlie existence of precious nietals. 





It was but a natural deduction, that the broad and deep river they 
had entered from the ocean, and its tributaries, were stretched out 
in a long line toward the Pacific coast.* 

The progress of colonization in all the northern portion of the 
contment, after discovery, was slow. What in our age, and espe- 
cially where our own countrymen are engaged, would be but the 
work of a year, was then the work of a century. It was before the 
world had been stimulated by the example of a free government and 
a free people, unincumbered by royal grants and charters, and their 
odious and paralizing monopolies. It was before governments had 
learned the simple truths that some of them are yet slow in appre- 
ciating that the higher destinies of our own race are onlv to be 
worked out in the absence of shackles upon the mind and the phy- energies of the governed. It was when the good of the few 
was made subservient to that of the many ; and Kings and their 
favorites were central orbs around which all there was of human 
energy, enterprize and adventure, was made to revolve as sattelites. 
Jt was when foreign wars and conquests, and civil wars, in which 
the higher interests of mankind were but little involved, wore divert- 
>ng the attention of Europe from the pursuits of peace, civilization, 
and their extended sphere. There was no prophet to awake the 
sleeping energies of the Old World to an adequate conception of 
the field of promise that was opening here;-no one to even fore- 
shadow all that was hidden in the womb of time; and had there 
been, there would have been unfolded to Kings and Potentates, 
little for their encouragement; but how much to man, in all his 
noblest aspirations, his looking forward to a better time ' 

When colonization, such as contemplated permanent occupation 
finally commenced, it was in a measure, simultaneous, upon our 
northern coast.. Two powerful competitors started in the race 

•iH' idoa that ll.rro \^^^' \n^^t:tu'''^T t" buvebeeu prepossess.,! witl, .liscovery a ul a qu So "^ ''"' l^^'"""^Satf.l of wlmt in our day is 



for possession and dominion in America ; and a third was awakened 
and became a competitor. While as yet the Pilgrim Fathers were 
refugees ni Germany, deliberating as to where should be their 
assylum, appalled by all the dangers of the ocean and an inhospita- 
ble dime, and at times half resolving to go back and brave the per- 
secution from which they had fled; — while as yet there was but 
one feeble colony, upon all our southern coast, and the rambling 
Do Soto and the romantic Ponce de Leon had been but disai)pointed 
adventurers in the south-west; the adventurous Frenchmen had 
entered the St. Lawrence and planted a colony upon its banks ; 
had erected rude pallisades at Quebec and Montreal, and were 
making their way by slow stages in this direction. Halting at 
Kingston, (Frontenac) they struck off across Canada by river^and 

inland lake navigation — carrying their bark canoes over portages 

and reached Lake Huron ; then on, amid hostile tribes, until thev 
had explored and made missionary and trading stations upon Lake's 
Michigan and Superior, the upper waters of the JMississippi, and the 
Illinois rivers. 

Jn all the French expeditions to the St. Lawrence, previous to that 
of Champlain, there is little interest save in those of Jaques Cartier. 
In his second one, in 1535, with three ships, and a large number 
of accompanying adventurers he entered the St. Lawrence and 
gave it its name ; giving also, as he proceeded up the river, names 
to other localities which they yet bear. Arrived at the Island of 
Orleaas, he had a friendly interview with the natives. In a previ- 
ous voyage he had seized and carried to France, two natives, who,, 
returning with him somewhat instructed in the French laniruHge^ 
now acted as his interpreters, and gave a favorable account to their 
people of those they had been with, and the country they liad seen. 
Proceeding on, he anchored for the winter, at " Stadacona," after- 
wards called Quebec. Here he v;as met by an Indian chief, Dona- 
cona, with a train ot five hundred natives who welcomed his arri- 
val. The Indians giving Cartier intimation that a kirtrer vilhirre 
than theirs lay farther up the river. With a picked crew of thirty- 
five armed men he a.scended the river, had friendly interviews with 
the natives upon its banks. Arriving at the present site of Man. 
treal, he found an Indian village called Ilochelnga. which "stood in 
the midst of a great field of Indian corn, was of a circular form, 
containing about fifty large huts, each fifty paces long and from' 


iburfeen to fifteen wide, all built in the shape of tunnels forned of 
wood, and covered with birch hnrt • tl..^ ii ^ ,'. '^™^^ ^^ 

seven] rnnm. ^^'^^ t^ifch baik , the dwellings were divided into 

nres bu.ned. Three rows of pallisad-^s encircled the town with 

th'oirrriTd r^'"^\'^^ '-''-''' ^^- '- wiK>ie L;:;:' 

the outc. nng of defence, there was a gallerv, approached by ili.hts 

resist attack. * The strangers were entertained with fetes and 

to Jaqucs Cartier. who m the simple minds of the natives possessed 

some supernatural power over disease, which he dLc a:imed ut 

he p,ous adventurer "read aloud part of the Gospel of S John 

and made the sign of the cross over the sufferers " ' 

parting uuh ns newly acquired acquaintances at Hochela^. In 
- absence the intense cold had come upon his people un-TpaJ; 

UK or less allectcd. The kind natives gave him a remcdv that 

tfa IftTT-^ ^'--P^^^^^-P-P-dtoretur^rF;^ 
AS It al of the first mtervievvs of our race with the natives were to 
be signa ly marked by acts of wrong and outrage, as n ea mesl of 
the whole catalogue that was to follow, under pretence "ha "e|ad 

c Pt "s and tl ^ ' ^ "/'"^ ^'" ''"■^^^' ^«"''^-"'^' t'^« fo'-- 

toTk 1^; t" I ": ''^"t', "' '""'^'"^ ^'"'" ^" ^--^ his vessels, 

k ml t e u 'en T' ",'? ^^'"^ '^'^''S^^-'' i^ has been said, by a 

Kind tieatment that reconciled them to their flite 

lie expedition had found no "gold nor silver" and for that re. 
son disappointed their patron, the King, and the peoi of F .ce 

n ir ;::^h ' ^^^ ^^'^'^ ^^ ^"^^"-^^^ ^^ a n-goLi 0^1^.^ t 

Idtl^ ;:;•"' '^'.^^'-^-hle repots of an he had seen and 
enou'ho F 1? 'll ^^''"^^^"'^. «« «oon as he had acquired 

of t^ bl tv " \ ' " '"'f'^^'' " "^"'"••"«'' «" ^''at had been said 
otl, beauty, richness and salubrity of his native country " The 

chief, however, sickened and died ^' 

The next commission to visit the new dominions of France, was 

* CoiKiucut of Canada. 

t A decoction of tlie loaf anu tlie bark of tJio fir tree. 




Is i 

granted to Jean Francois de la Roche, with Jaques Cartier as his 
second ni command. It was formidable in its organization and 
equipment; after a series of disasters : — the arrival of Cartier, 
upon his old grounds; a reconciling of the Indian.^ lo his outrage, 
a winter of disease and death among his men; a failure of de°la 
Koche to arrive in season ; it returned to France to add to a war in 
which she had just then engaged, reasons for suspending colonial 
enterprises. Almost a half century succeeded for French advents 
to become but a tradition upon the banks of the St. Lawrence. 

How like a vision, in all this time, must those advents have seemed 
vvith the simple natives ! A strange people, with all that could excite 
their wonder : — the'.- huge ships, their loud mouthed cannon, whose 
sounds had reverberated upon the summits of their mountains, in 
their vallies, and been re-echoed from the deep recesses of their 
forests ; with their gay banners, and music, and all the imposing at- 
tendants of fleets sent out by the proud monarch of a showy and 
ostentatious nation of Europe ; who had addressed them in an un- 
known tongue, and by signs and symbols awed them to a contempla- 
tion of a Great Spirit, other than the terrible Manitou of their sim- 
pie creed; who had showed them a "book" in which were revela- 
tions they had neither "seen in the clouds nor heard in the winds;" 
whose advent had been a mixed one of conciliation and porfid": — 
who had given them a taste of "strong water," that had steeped 
their senses in forgetfulness, or aroused their fiercest passions. All 
this had come and gonr-, began and ended, and left behind it a vacu- 
um, of mingled wonder, amazement and curiosity; and of darkfore- 
bodmgs of evil, if there was some kind spirit, caring for their future 
destiny, to foreshadow to them the sequel of all they had witnessed. 
Would the pale faced strangers come again ? — Would their lost ones 
be restored to reveal to them the mysteries of those wondrous 
advents; and tell them of all things they had seen in that far off 
land, the home of the strangers ? These were the anxious enquiries, 
the themes around their council fires, in their wigwams, when they 
held communion with their pagan deities, or asked the moon and the 
stars to be the revelators of hidden things. One generation passed 
away and anoth-r succeeded, before the mysterious strangers came. 

T)hUr«,nn vn li ,J f ^^ ^'T r ""^ ^''^'^'V tl'e advents c? Cartier nnd Clmm- 
fc mil ;J '''I'^l'"" ','« "1 l"i-'''H'lj fi^licrmon and traders, Kt'iiendly coastin- off New 
Foundland, occasionally entered the St. and traded with the natives 



first to conciliate their favor by offering themselves as allies; then 
to wrest from them empire and dominion. 

The first expedition of Champlain was in 1603 and '4 The ac 
counts of them possess but little interest. In 1G08, equipped by his 
patrons for an expedition, having principally in view the fur trade, he 
extended his own views to the addition of permanent colonization 
and missionary enterprize. Arriving at Quebec, he erected the firsi 
±.uropean tenements upon the banks of the St. Lawrence The In 
dians with whom Cartier had cultivated an acquaintance, were re- 
duced to a few in number, by removal, famine and disease Re- 
maining at Quebec through a severe winter, relieving the neccessi- 
ties of the Indians, his own people suffering under an attack of the 
scurvy, Champlain in 1609, accompanied by two Frenchmen and 
a war party of the natives, went up tlia St. Lawrence, and struck off 
to the Lake that still bears his name. The war party that accom- 
panied him. were of the Algonquins and Hurons, of Canada, who were 
then at war with the Iroquois. Their object was invasion of the Ir- 
oquois country, and Champlain, from motives of policv had become 
their ally. Upon the shores of a lake to which he ga^'e the name of 
St. Sacrament-afterwards called Lake George-the party met a 
war party of two hundred Iroquois ; a battle ensued, the tide c^ it was 
as uusual, turning in flivor of the wariike and almost every where 
conquering Iroquois, when Champlain suddenly made his appearance, 
v.t his two Frenchmen and the first fire from their arquebuses, kil- 
led two of the Iroquois chiefs, and wounded a third. The Iroquois 
dismayed, as well by the report and terrible effect of new weapons 
of war, as by the appearance of those who bore them, held out but 
httle longer; fled m disorder; were pursued, and many of them killed 
and taken prisoners. This was the first battle cf which history gives 
us any account, in a region where armies have since often met - 
And It marks another era the introduction of fire arms in battle," to 
the natives, in all the northern portion of this continent. They had 
now been made acquainted with the two elements that were destined 

TheltdT't^r^''^'^'"';; '^^'''" ^^^ ^^^'^^^ extermination 
They had tasted French brandy upon the St. Lawrence, English rum 
upon the s^iores of the Chesapeake, and gin, up^n the ba'k" 
of he Hudson. They had seen the mighty engines, one of which 
was to conquer them in battle and the other was to conquer them 
m peace councils, where cessions of their domains were involved 



Champlain returned to France, leaving a small colony at Quebec- 
was invited to an audience, and had favor with the Kin-r. who be- 
stowed upon all this region, the natn^ of New Franco.* Cham- 
plain visited his infant colony again in KJIO. and 1013, recruiting it, 
and upon each occasion going himself to battle with his neifriil'rors 
and allies against the Iroquois. In ICloa company of merchants in 
France, having procured a charter from the King, which embraced 
all of French interests in Ni^^v Trance, gave to Champlain the prin- 
cipal direction of their aflliirs. Having attende. to the temporal 
affairs of the colony, the conversion of the natives, bv Catliolic 
missionaries, engaged his attention. Four missionaries of the order 
of Recollcts were enlisted. These were the first missionaries in 
Canada, and the first upon all our Atlantic coast, with the exception 
of some Jesuit missionaries that had before reached Nova Scotia. 
Leaving the large recruit of colonists he brought out at Quebec^ 
where he found all things had gone well in his absence, the intrepid ad- 
venturer, and soldier as he had made himself, pushed on to Montreal, 
and joined again a war party of his Indian allies, against the Iroquois.' 
The Iroquois were this time conquerors. Defea^t had lessened the 
importance of Champlain in the eyes of his Indian allies, and they 
even refused him and his few followers, a guide back to Quebec, 
although he had been wounded. Remaining for the winter an 
unwilling guest of his Indian allies, he improved his time, as soon as 
his wounds would allow of it, in visiting more of the wild region of 
Canada. In the spring he returned to Quebec, and in July, to 

For several succeeding years, Champlain visited and revisited the 
colony, extending and strengtheningit; encountering vicissitudes in 
France consequent upon the breaking up and change of proprietor- 
ships ; his colony subjected to attacks from the Iroquois whom he 

* OiarlovoLv. 

Jond, u;vu,,„noy„t tins r.-mr, _ f ). ]I. Marshall. Esq. „f HufFal. — t,. asantn w "re 

Champ am and lus In,l,a„ allios „,va,l..,i 11,,. (crrilo/v ,.f ,ho Ir„.j,.oi.s. T .y c "ue 

ac )..s tho 1 .uvr ond ot Lake ()„fari„, an,! passinjn tlnm.frh what is now .M\wlm2d 

sw,.,^,. ro,,n1„.s, cr„ss«l tJ.o Onoi,lo Lak. luul attacked the 0„on,lai,a.s at Ih ■ pHn- 

rxn^lf^ l,f^^ .• ''!" """"'•■■' S'"'"^'' "" "'iviinta-o ; and Champlain who 



had injudiciously made his implacable enemies. Still, French colo- 
nization in New France slowly progressed, and trading establish- 
ments were multiplied. In 1(523 a stone Fort was erected at Quebec 
to protect the colonists against the Iroquois, and a threatened rndof 
amicable relations with the Ilurons and Algonquins. In 1G25, 'G, 
the first Jesuit missionaries came out from France, among them were 
names with which we become familiar in tracing the first advents of 
our race in Western New York and the region of the Western 

In 10-27 the colonization of New France was placed upon a new 
fooling, by the organization of the "Company of One Hundred Asso- 
ciates." Their charter gave them a monopoly in New France, and 
attempted to prothote ci.ristianization and colonization, both of which 
had been neglected by making the fur trade a principal object. The 
"Company" engaged to introduce 16,000 settlers before 1643.— 
Before the advent of this new association, the colony had become 
but a feeble one ; the Indians had become hostile and kept the French 
confined to their small settlements, at times, to their fortifications. 
Hostilities having commenced between France and England, the 
first vessel sent out by the Associates fell into the hands of the 
English. An English expedition after destroying the French trading 
establishment at T.idoussac, on the Sagenay, sent a demand for the 
surrender of Quebec. Champlain replied in a manner so spirited 
and determined as to delay the accack, until the English force was 
increased. In July 1629 an English fleet appeared, and demanded 
a surrender which Champlain with his reduced and feeble means 
of resistance was obliged to obey. The terms of capitulation se- 
cured all private rights of the French colonists, and most of them 
remained. Champlain, however, returned to France. It was a 
siege and capitulation in miniature, that after the lapse of more than 
a century, was destined to be the work of concentrated armies and 
navies, and weeks of fierce contest. 

English possession was surrendered by treaty in 1632. At the 
period of this small conquest :— "the Fort of Quebec, surrounded by 
a score of hastily built dwellmgs and barracks, some poor huts on 
the Is-land of Montreal, the like at Three Rivers and Tadoussac, 
and a few fishermen's log houses and huts on the St. Lawrence, 
wore the only fruits of the discoveries of Verrazano, Jaques Cartier, 
Roberval and Champlain, and the great outlay of La Roche and 



I' i 



a'^LfC''"' ''' '"'^ '"' "^"^"Ss of their followers, fornearly 

of Ser£n ''^"'^ ^" '"''• ^^"'"^ '^^^^ re-appointed Governor 

cllTts and"'. "'"' ' '"; """'^ of Missionary and other 
colonists, and gave a new impulse to colonial enterprise • settle- 

"s flrmfrat O \"r^^"'^ ^^"^^^' w.thrich'endo«s 
was tormed at Quebec, for the "education of youth andthemnvpr 

the /ounder of French colonization in New Fiance, to whose perse 
veranee courage, and fortitude, France was indebted for lefoo ' 
hold she had gamed upon this continent, died, and was "buri d in the' 
oily of which he was the founder." t 

Montmagny succeeded Champlain. Deprived of much of the 
patronage from the Associates that he had reason to expect, the work 
of colonization progressed but slowly during his alin straZn 
winch continue until 1047. Trade, advanced settlement ;„„: 

pr L h'ad'a „' "r r''°=""' '"' "'"'""'^^ ^""^ educa.ionalfn er- 

w founded Th n'rr""^ ^^"'"^' "-'Q-bec,a college 
waslounded. The Dutchess de Arguillon founded the Hotel Die^, 
and Ma ame de la Pel.rie, the convent of the Ursulins The las,' 

gio^ ai^i: T'™? ™ ""'"'■ "''«' ''"'■■ ^ ^-"'- "> her e ' 

n"w Wnu .r P''°P''S"°'- "' i'- She came hers, ' "to the 

r,7. ;r " ™^«l"''"^''''™, accompanied byUrsulines 

ofLt°rr r"r?"'"™°"'™"'p'™°-'y-*'thewto;' 

of Lo«r Canada. Such was the eclat that attended the advent o^ 
the noble patron and her followers, who had left all the refinement" 
ga ties and luxuries of France, to take up their abode upon . ,e w" d' 

sTgnatdCa : l"" "'"' "• ^''™"'=^' '^'" ">-> -iv Z" 
signalized by a public reception, with military and religious observan- 

ma!!' °"'°'' T^r' '™"" ""''" 'he administration of Mont- 
Foifthere™'''. '""""'■'=" "' Montreal, and the building of a 
Foit there and at the mouth of the Richlieu, as out.posls a<.ainst ^le 
Iroquo-. whosmce they had become exasperated by Champ ai" 
made Ircjuent attacks upon the French settlements. A threat reth 

* Conquest of Canada. 

.i£:t= -r;xiKr £ s^:a^^^^^^^ 


ed the ears of Montmagny that they would "drive the white man into 
the sea, and becoming convinced of the powers of the wild warriors 
^.'hose strength he had no meansof estimating, he sought the means 
of es abiishing a peace with then., in which he was encouraged by his 
neighbors the Hurons, who were worn out, and their number's re- 
duced, by long wars with their indefatiguable adversaries The -ov 
ernor and the Huron chiefs met deputies of the Iroquois at Three 
Itivers, and concluded n peace. 

M. d' Ailleboust who had held a command at Three Rivers was 
the successor of Montmagny, and continued as Governor until ier.o' 
The peace with the Iroquois gave a spur to missionary enterprise 
and trade, both of which were extended. 

During the administration of Montmagny, missionaries and traders 
had followed the water courses of Canada, and reached Lake Hu- 
ron where they had established a post. From that distant point, 
in 1640, came the first of our race that ever trod upon the soil of 
Western Nevy lorlc, and left behind them any record of their ad- 
vent. * On the 2d day of November, 1040. two .Jesuit Fathers. 
Brebeauf and Chaumonot, left their mission station at St. Marie 
on the nver Severn, near Lake Huron, and came upon the Nia^^ara 
nver. both sides of which were occupied by the Neuter NatiJn. f 
Ihey found this nation to consist of 12,000 souls, having 4,000 
vva^Tiors, and inhabiting forty villages, eigliteen of which the mis- 
sionaries visited. They were, say these Fathers :_" Larger 
s ronger, and better formed than our Hurons." " The men Tike 
all savages, cover the=r naked flesh with skins, but are less par'ticu- 

Neuter Nation. If tliis is so he J^lZ"ti^.! V-^ ^ tlie winter ut IG^ti „n.,.n-r the 
The period is earlier Ln we em w^I«,f^ wnten.un who saw Western New York, 
so fa.- away fro,n tl.e S irenN „no '^71 '''"■" '""''' ^''^:^^*" »"/ J''»'"chn,a„ 
tl.e tlien utter hostility o the Imq^ / '^tHl tfe'"'^ wlu., wo eonsid., 
as this have tolerated! few miS a^s ^ fti^""™ '''^'"^'' ■" ^'""" ""'^ -^-^ly 

the west side of the N a.^ni river it wtv,^^ Lake Eno and a wide strip om 
«'ere at, war, and they we e neutnls iT^tl,;,!""- «>•""',"'• ^j''il^«'"-nm„dini, nation, 
and Chanmorot, the/we,.^d s w^,^ V'"' ^"'^'^ "^ "'•'-■'^«'"f 

as we found it-a pit of ttC ,fo Th i w'^l''''^ ^ r!' ''" '>-'"" '^''^^'»°^^' " 
the fury of the Iroquois, thev fina Iv n .!, ,^ "'?• ^■■'•^'? Clinrlevoix ; _ " To avoid 
cothi.-,; by the union T o r>nn„ J r'f ,'.*'" "S'^lv'-s a-ainst the Hurons, hut mined 
^■■.tiafui, c/ostroy d aU thl canic^ H. ';' ''v': ^'"'f ^^i^'^r' '''"^^ Wood.' can ?iot hi 
of the Neuter :N^atioii." '''^' ' '""^ "^ ""^ '^"y ^'^^c remains no trac- 




lar than the Ilurons in conceaHng what should not appear." " The 
Squau-s are ordmarily clothed, at least from the waist to the knees- 

They have Indian corn, bean... and .j^ourds in equal abundance- 
|.lso, plenty of fi.h They are much employed in^ buf-' 
hdo, wild cats, wolves, wild boars, beaver, and other animals. It is 
rare to see snow m th. country more than half a foot deep But 
tins year, it ,s more than three feet." Th. Rev. Fathers found our 
remote predecessors here upon the soil of Western New York 
with the exception of one village, unfavorable to the mission they' 
were upon, and intent upon which they had braved all the ri^^ors 
of the season, and a long forest path which they soon reiraeed^' 'wl-N^fT" •"'" "'"'■"" '' "^^"^^'^ ^'--^ -du- 
mbed woik.., fresh, as it were, Irom the Creator, and bearing 

he mipress of His bands-and we may well suppose they were' 
lor t„ey had come fro. > cloistered halls and high ats of iLlZ' 
and relmeinent-h,..v must their eyes have been satlJed in : eS 
ol he panorama ot lakes and forests, hills and plains, rushin. tor- 
rents, water- falls, and the climax in their midst -1 the mighty°clta 
-^ of I^K,gara, thundering in its solitude! Who woulcT^ w^ 

t ';:^^f ".-^-""V'"'" - "' '''''' '^ P^^'-P^ -- ratio "1 
tlwu he could enjoy such a scene as Western New York then was ^ 

T .treaty with the Iroquois had but suspended their ho i uLs 

In Cia they were again out upon their war-j.aths upon the banks 

station of the small settlement of St. Jo.seph Whon ihn U 

'Id men l,owo,„o„ and children, collec.ed for reli-io,,, scrvico . 
party o Iroq„o,« „„,„ up„„ ,hem and massacred <& l^^n^ 
«s probably ,l,o (irs.of a series of martyrdoms that aw lied he 
■losuit missionaries. In the carlv mn ,.r i,mo ,i ''""''so '"e 
.cl, upon ,.o vi„a,os.„f the Ill^'l: e ly' tZ, ■ :?"£ 

.uofupon, n,, X*s: ;■; "■ '"r -^^^ van at. 

;and, .ith their <^^^s^::^^ :.:^;::^2:^"y:::^ '^:^;i 

the war-club, had visited the Hurons "Most of tho r 

conqaerois, and were received into their nation. The few 

PnEu.s ASL oouium's PunonAsE. 2I 

flushed will, their victories over .heir mvn L r °''''"'"»- 

Wdor and n,„ro delermine.l t, Tv ,1 T '"'i'™' K"'- 

^oprded . intruder. : zt:\x.r:^zi::/^ p- 

U,e ConrederacA^ion;::, irFirero' ^r.t^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ "' 


In 10.8, V,.seount d'ArRuson succeeded M de Liuson Tl 

rFTetrr' ";; '■'if^™-'--- - si,™,i.'d J;: :..: : 

a. Tl, ee RKert w^' fr'^T'r " '"''"' "^ » ^™'' °'' M°l'-vk^ 


a„J",l,e'''F ■ " ','"' '^.""'■""'' '^™'' O"'-'!''' Baron dAv„„„„r_ 
: ,i T'l ' r"7V'": '""'""^'' •■>■ ••"' '-P».-.».iOn°o 400 

C if f 7n Q""''^'^ I'--"' "O"- l>a.. 
Monts. lie found all spiritual and len,p„ral ell 'rts liU-Iy to he 

eo omsts, that d Av ajour had alloued. The Bishop hastened to 
r.anee, represented the evil to the Kin?, and cami hae ' whi, 

ahe.t '■<! "cu- Governor proved a tyrant, thwarted the mis. 
Mo^,anes^,||,„,o , general disrepute, and was soon roealled 

• Conquest of Cauacla, 




PHELPS Axn gorham's purchase. 

1.1 l(i03, tl.o company of Associates relinquished all their rights 

transferred to the West India Coinpa- 

in Ae 

\v F 

lance, which were 

ly. In this year, all that : 

the C 


\e\v York, was visited by a tremendous earthquake. * 

M. de Tracy came out as Governor under the West India Com- 
pany in 1005, bringing with him a recruit of soldiers, and soon 
nith the aid ot Indian allies, intimidated the Iroquois. A larrre' 
•lumber ot families, artisans and laborers, were added to the colony 
=md lorts were built at the mouth of the Richlicu. In December' 
the Senecas, Cayugas, and Onondagas, sent deputations sueinrr for 
peace and an exchange of prisoners, which was readily a^rreed up- 
-Mi. Tne Mohawks and Oneidas still holding out, after sending out 
an expedition against them that imncipally failed, M. de Trac'V at 
tbe head of 1200 French soldiers and 000 Indian allies, encounter- 
ed al the vicissitudes of a long march through the wilderness ; in 
which his army suffered for the want of food, and were only 
saved from starvation by subsisting upon chestnuts. Arrivin-^ /t 
the villages of the Moliawks, he found them principally deser'ted. 
J he finale of the formidable expedition wrts the burnincr of the 
-Afohawk cabins, and the killing of a few old men and women + 
Little of glory, and much of suffering, loss and disgrace, were the 

Iruits of the expedition. M. de Tracy returned to France, and the 

government devolved on M. de Courcelles. 

Peace with the Iroquois ensued, and a brief season was allowed 

for the progress of settlement and the promotion of agriculture. 
The administration of M. de Courcelles was vigorous and well con- 

ducted. Learning that the Iroquois were endeavoring to persuade 
he Western Indians to trade with the English, he menaced them 

with a formidable attack; to make amends fbr murders of Iroquois 

..y Frenchmen, he had led out and executed, the offenders, in view 

of those whose friends had been the victims ; and by other acts of 

from 16C3? Some n, t ons offl?^ ^tica.n. sl.all Ave not say tliat all iliis datcH 

to. of f^t, ti. j^ui; iS:;t;it t::;s^^:^^-^^^^^' ■ ^-^ - "" -^■ 

^^^t The French found corn enongh buried in pite to have suppUcd the Mohawks for 


conciliation preserved peaee. A war broke out between the 
Iror|uo,s and Otlawas, and he interfered and made peaee 
About tl„s period, the small pox, always a most f i,-b,ful seource 

ul tb" .",;'" "■"" ' ■"■"'" "'" "•"""" ••'" "■» allies o he f3 
upon the St. Lawrenee and the interior of Canada. In so™ inrn 
OS whole tnbes were exterminated ; the vie.ims were enTmeS 
by^thousands; ,„ one ,„lage near Quebee, they atnounted to fifl 

Near the close ofM. de Courcelles administration, in 1671 hv 

western Lakes, a grand couned was convened at the Falls of St 
Z7i :„;" '" ^"r^'snty ofthe King of France wa knowK 
edged, and a cross, bearing his arms, was set up 

cnu"al irall ?Jl!- ''''°""°'":' " "■"■"'^ """""">' of Champlain, his 
equal m all, and h,s superior m many respects ; advanced in a.e bat 
v^orous, arburarjvn ail his designs and ...ovements ; too t e r^ 
of government m New France, and in many respects created an w 
era. Following out the plans of his subordinate, M. Talon, an exne 
d.t,on was set on foot to explore the "great river," the "Me hasepe " 
.n he dialect of the western tribes, of which but va^ue and Li 
finite Ideas had been gained of the natives. Mar„„«.ra Jest 
Missionary, with Joliet, and other attendants, set outlom S. Mar" 
and veachmg the Miami, obtained from ,hem two natives a guWs 
Thy struck upon the waters of Fox River, and descendin/rem 
crossed the short portage, and descended upon the waters" of X' 
Wisconsin River to :ts confluence with the Mississippi Their 

llL u u ""' """^ ™"l 'l-ey came to a of the 
fflnois where they were " kindly and hospitably received." ° Tl e x 
pedition, fa hng m with none but friendly natives, went as fa down 
as below the mouth of the Arkansas, where, he rivc^ 

mpt.ed Itself into the Gulf of Mexico, instead of the PacMc as th.v 
fe^ .ondly hoped ; and fearing that they might fall inioZC^Jf 
"^e Sjxm^ds^hey^^t^^ c-onimencing missbnty 

<Wsa, h„o faital tl„.,„ i, ^ 1™],]™ li. „' ,''■''' ™'"'"',' i"™M»I in other 

Ijlex,,,,,, or rather ,h„ ,«,„„ „f,te ,V , dmt-S f, ,;,''Z; V """1"'"4 '» «« com- 
lL.-.t prevoiila the illsciso l.reakhit o« .™ J i™. ,,,,»' ','! ""' '"?■ '° " lo"Sl>»<»» 




labors among the Miamis, and Jolict carrying?- the news of their dis- 
coveries to Quebec. These were the lirst of our race that saw the 
upper Mississippi and its vast tributaries. The pajrcs of general his- 
tory that tell of the hazardous journey ; that recounts the impressions 
made upon the mind of Marquette, who had a mind to appreciate all 
he saw in that then vast and hitherto unexplored wilderness of prairie 
and forest, inland seas, and wide rivers ; is one of peculiar attractions. 
Few historical readers will fail to peruse it. The name of a county 
in Illinois, and a village, perpetuates the names, and the memories of 
Marquette and Joliet. 




'. i 

Previous to the western advent of Marquette and Joliet, La Salle, 
a young Frenchman of ample fortune, after completing his educa- 
tion, with, all the religious enthusiasm peculiar to the disciples of 
Loyola, mixed with a spirit of adventure then so rife in Fiance, had 
crossed the ocean, pushed on beyond the farthest French settle- 
ments upon the St. Lawrence, an., become the founder of Frontenac, 
now Kingston, the ownership of which was conferred upon him by 
his King with the rank of nobility. The grant was in fact, that of a 
wide domain, with some exclusive privileges of Indian trade. 

When Marquette and Joliet returned, they took Frontenac in their 
route, and found the young adventurer in tlic midst of his enterprises, 
drawing around him missionaries, traders, agriculturalists — the pa- 
froon ot one of the most flourishing settlements of New France.— 
Listening to their accounts of the vast beautiful region they had 
seen, its broad Lakes, wide prairies — and with especial interest to 
their story of the "Great River,"-he resolve<l upon following 
up their discoveries, by a new route, and extending French (hmin" 
,ion across the entire continent. Ilcturning to France, with ll). 
^ information he had obtained from various sources, his earnest impor- 
. tunities inspired the king and his minister, Colbert, with confidence 
and a commission of discovery was granted him. The object as 
expressed in the commission, was, " to discover the western portion of 
our country of New France," and the suggestion was made, that 
through It a passage might be found to Mexico. The rxpndiiion 

'f their dis- 
at saw the 
eneral his- 
^rcciatc all 
s of prairie 
t' a county 
imories of 


La iSalle, 
lis ediica- 
'ciplcs of 
mce, had 
2h settle- 
n fiim by 

that of a 

c in their 
— the pa- 
*ance. — 
hey had 
itercst to 
with Ihe 
it impor- 
bjcct, as 
Drtion of 
:ie, that 


was to be at his own expense, and that of his associates ; their pros- 
pective remuneration, a restricted monopoly of trade with the natives. 
With an Italian named Tonti, Father Hennepin, a number or 
mechanics and mariners, naval stores, and goods for the Indian 
trade, he arrived at Frontenac in the fall of 1678, and soon after a 
wooden canoe often tuns, the first craft of European architecture 
that ever entered the Niagara River, bore a part of his company to 
the site of Fort Niagara. La Salle, followed soon after with a sail 
vessel, in which he had a stock of provisions, and materials for ship 
building; crossed the Lake, coasted along its .southern shore, entered 
the mouth of the Genesee River or the Irondequoit Bay, and visited 
some of the villages of the Senecas to reconcile them to his enterprise ; 
and on his way from the Genesee to the Niagara River, encountered 
a gale and lost his vessel, saving but a part of his cargo. Arrived at 
Niagara, he erected some rude defences, established a post, and at 
Lewiston erected a trading station with pallisades. Late in Janu- 
ary the business of ship building was commenced at the mouth of 
Cayuga creek, six miles above the Falls of Niagara. In mid winter 
the neccessity occurring, the intrepid adventurer, on foot, made the 
jom-ney to Frontenac, around the head of the Lake, returnincr on the 
ice along the northern shore, with a dog and sledge for the transpor- 
tation of his baggage. 

_ It was fortunate, perhaps, that during the ship's building, the war- 
riors of the Senecas were principally drawn ofTin anexpcdition against 
some ot the western enemies. that remained behind, hun^r 
around and watched the operations at Niagara as well as at the 
place of ship building. In consequence of their remonstrances, what 
was intended as the commencement of a Fort at Niagara, had to be 
abandoned and a "habitation surrounded with pallisades" substitu- 
te!; and they were almost constantly annoying the shipbuilders. 
The missionary, Hennepin, by mild persuasion, and the display of the 
emblems ot the foith he was propagating, would seem to have aided 
much in reconciling the natives to these strange movement.^ they 







;l J 

were w. nessmg. discouraged, surrounded with dangers, 
the ship builders were once upon the point of desertion to the EnHish 
settlements upon the Hudson, but were encournged bv the pious 
missionary m "exhortations on holidays and Sundays "after divine 
service. He told them that tlie enterprise had sole "reference to 
the promotion of the glory of God, and the welfare of the christian 
colonies. On one occasion, while the vessel was upon the stock. 
a scheme, the Senecas had devised for burning it, was frustrated by' 
the timely warning of a friendly squaw. 

All these difficulties were surmounted, and when the River and 
Lake had become clear of ice, a vessel of sixty tons burthen, was 
ready for the water. It was " blessed according to our Church of 
Home, ana launched under the discharge of artillerv, accompanied 
by the chaunting of the Te Deum ; the Senecas fooking on with 
amazement, declaring the ship builders to be " Ot-kons,» men with 
penetrating minds." Some weeks followed of preparation for the 
voyage; tnps by water were made to Frontenac ; trading parties 
went to the principal villages of the Senecas ; and the Niagla Riv 
er was explored to see how the vessel was to be got into Lake Erie 
In the mean time the warriors of the Senecas returned from the 
vvestward, and their reseniments were absorbed in wonder at all 
they saw ; awe, or fear perhaps, overcame their jealousies. Invited 
on board the vessel and hospitably entertained, they exclaimed 
"ga-nor-ron," how wonderful! ^laimea, 

The vessel was named the "Griffin," in honor of Count Fronte- 
nac, whose armorial bearing was the representation of two-niffins 
It was equipped with sails, masts, and every thing ready for Lvi^a-' 

reV;;; w "^, ""■' ?^-^ ^^^^ ^^^"^^^ -^ two^arquebulls * 
Aftei all was ready several attempts were made to ascend the Nia- 

gam, befor a wind sufficiently favorable occurred to insure succ s 

At as t, with much severe labor, men being often placed on sloi" 

With tovv lines to assist the sails-the veLl entered Lake eZ 

and on the 7th of August, IG70, accompanied by the discha,-: of cln-' 

non, and the chaunting of the Te Deum, the first sail ve se w" 

ton. llo says ■• .( t„ok fo r , oTL c- m v' "''/''" i ""';" '""""f'-'i"'^" »t L.^yil 

to cltca- then,, the work v^JZn^^^I^,!!^^^''' ""''"''' ^"' ^''""^'^ ^'"^^ S'^ea 


h dangers, 
le English 
the pious 
fler divine 
ference to 
he stock?, 
3trated by 

'iver and 
then, was 
'hurch of 

on with 
men with 
>n for tlie 
g parties 
;ara Riv- 
vke Erie, 
from the 
er at all 



I griffins. 

:he Nia- 

II shore 
e Erie, 
-cl was 


it Lowis- 


After a protracted voyage, the Griffin cast anchor in Green Bay, 
where a trade was opened with the natives and a rich cargo of furs 
obtained. Late in the season of navigation, it started on Its return 
voyage to the Niagara River, encountered severe gales, and the 
vessel and all on board were never more heard of— their fate remain- 
ing a mystery.* 

^ Hennepin describing what they saw of the shores of Lakes Erie, 
St. Clair and Huron, and the banks of the Detroit and St. Clair Riv- 
ers, observes ;— Those who will have the good fortur;e some day to 
possess the beautiful and fertile lands, will be under many obliga- 
gations to us, who have cleared the way. 

Anticipating the return of the ill-fkted vessel. La Salle established a 
tradmg house at Mackinaw, and proceeding to the mouth of the St. 
Josephs, added to a small Missionary station, under the care of Al- 
louez, a trading house with pallisades, which he called the " Fort of the 
Miami." Despairing of the return of the Griffin, leaving ten men to 
guard the fort, with Hennepin, and two other Missionaries, Tonti, and 
about thirty other followers, the impatient adventurer ascended the 
St. Joseph and descended the Kankakee to its mouth. From there 
he descended the Illinois to Lake Peori where he erected a fort amid 
the murmuring and discontent of his followers, who deemed their 
leader and his expedition ruined by the loss of the Griiiin. Yielding 
temporarily to despondency, the stout hearted leader, named it For^t 
Creve Crjcur, the " Fort of the Broken hearted." 

Recovering his wonted energy, however, he set his men to sawing 
ship plank, dispatched Hcimepin with two followers to explore the 
Upper Mississipi)i, and started himself with three companions, for 
Frontenac, to procure recruits, and sails and cordage for his vessel.- 
The journey was made in the month of iMarch, and was one of peril and 
suflering ; the route to the Niagara River, and from thence 
around the head of Lake Ontario to Frontenac. New adventurers 

Unlws tlio autlior was ri-ht in tlic cniidnHion he forniu.l m to its fate in a nvovimis 
walk. 1 hu Jesuit Missionancs coiicliidcd that it was straiulod in a tralc, phindoml 
by the natives and its ci-w niurdcivd. Sii.'h was ])rol,ablv the t-ir( :_ln 1,!<0.-) s.,in.. 
ot tlK> early settlers in Hanlhul•i,^ Faw e.ninty, after a seveVe blew thai bad renieved a 
lara;(! bmlv »i sand and y-ravel iijien the lake sbere, tbuiid where it ha.l hevn deeply 
jMiibedded, an anelmr. In later years, near the saniespot, there ha-^ been found several 
luindred jviunds ot iron, sueh as would seem to have b<'en taken from a. vessel • and 

near the snot, I wo rannon, the whole buried in iheVarth, and (rood sized forest trees otow 
ini,' over them. There is no record, or tradition, of the lo-s of any vessel other tha 
the (JrifHn at the early j.eriod in whieb thfsu relic must have been left 'where the 


■were foiii'd: 



es^ped, and ound refuge among the Potawatomies on Lake Mi- 
Returning to Green Bay, he commenced tradincr and estibh-shin^r 

ovt: llntT"''" t' '''''''''-''-' -"-telhisscat™' 
part of'ir^t ^ '^'"n ^r^^ ^" ^^« ^"'"^'^ ii-e'-. -d in the early 
~o!t^'rl^'''''r^^^'^^^^^- He planted a 
called it Tou^^^^^^^^ ^^--^ ^he country for France, and 

in o?r' l''"^" '/ °^ '1^''' ^"''^"S enterprises, that have no parallel even 
m our day of wondrous achievements -that paved the wav for the 
occup, ,^^^ ,^ ^„ ^^^ ^^^^ ^P^.^^^ the ay f or th 

sippi -IS a long chapter of disaster, of successes and reverses mosX 
remote from our local region, and belonging to the pages of C^ 
history. In all that relates to French occunanov of' th It""^ 
count.y, the borders of the western Lak^: ^ft ^;a L; o,tt mT 
.,ss>pp,_ especially, to the adventures of Marrmette Jolt T 

tallu T"'^' Vh"' ^^"•'' '''^''^''^ h.torionr h d but et 
tarn guules, andbut unsatisfactory, authentic details. Recent di 
ovenes m Quebec, and among the archives of the Jesuits in Rom " 
afford encouragement that with some future historian the el 

tures, that led hmi oA-er the plams ot Texas, to New Mexico • that 

me i unity River m Texas, on a return, overland, to Frontenac 
conphshed national historian, Bancroft :-" For force of will ntj 

■eturned to 
is absence, 
J, Father 
Jwers, had 
Lake Mi- 

ttered fol- 
i the early 
planted a 
ance, and 

illel even 
ay for the 
e Missis- 
es, mostly 
'f f^eneral 
the Mis- 
ilief. La 
tt uncer- 
cent dis- 
n Rome, 
liese de- 
)r leaves 
r adven- 
30 ; that 
eries of 
our ac- 
r'ill and 
1 of his 
ty that 
r afllic- 



ed : One hundred and thirty nine years ago, the Griffin set out upon 
Its voyage, passed up the rapids of the Niagara, and unfurled the first 
sail upon the waters of the Upper Lakes. 

Intrepid navigator and explorer! High as were hopes and ambi- 
tion that could alone impel him to such an enterprise ; far seeing as 
he was ; could the curtain that concealed the ^uture from his vfew, 
have been raised, his would have been the exclamation : 

" Visions of glory, spare my aching sight ;— 
Ye unborn ages, rush not on my soul !" 

He deemed himself but adding to the nominal dominions of his 
King; but opening new avenues to the commerce of his country; 
founding a prior claim to increased colonial possessions. He was 
pioneering the way for an empire of freemen, who in process of time 
were to fill the valleys he traversed ; the sails of whose commerce 
were to whiten the vast expanse of waters upon which he was em- 

_ How often, when reflecting upon the triumphs of steam naviga- 
tion do we almost wish that it were admitted by the dispensations 
of Providence that Fulton could be again invested with mortality, 
and witness the mighty achievements of his genius. Akin to this, 
wouk' be the wish, that La Salle could rise from his wilderness grave 
in the far-off South, and look out upon the triumphs of civilization 
and improvement over the vast region he was the first to explore. 

Ours is a country whose whole history is replete with daring en- 
terprises and bold adventures. Were we prone, as we should be 
duly to commemorate the great events that have marked our pro- 
gress, here and there, in fitting localities, more monuments would 
be raised as tributes due to our history, and to the memory of those 
who have acted a conspicuous part in it. Upon the banks of our 
noble river, within sight of the Falls, a shaft from our quarries would 
soon designate the spot where the Griffin was built and launched • 
upon Its base, the name of La Salle, and a brief inscription that 
would commemorate the pioneer advent of our vast and in'.reasincr 
Lake commerce. "^ 

Frontenac returned to France in consequence of disagreement 
with other officers of the colony, but to return again in after years 
Le was succeeded by M. de la Burrc, who found the Iroquois dis- 



posed to lean toward the English interests upon the Hudson, and 
assuming again a hostile attitude toward the French. The Otta- 
•as, who were the allies of the French, had killed a chief of the 
.roquois ; and fronn this and other causes, they were again exaspera- 
ted, and preparing for descents upon the French settlements. Hith- 
er. -> the Senecas, far removed from what had been the seat of war 
and almost continually waging war with those of their own race,' 
had participated but little in the wars with the French. Provoca- 
tions now began on their part, in the way of endeavoring to divert 
trade to the English, and in warring upon the French Indian allies; 
and upon one occasion, they had robbed a French trading party on 
their way to Illinois. 

A long series of provocations were given by the Iroquois, which 
determined M. dela Barre to go against them with all the forces he 
could command. He had information that a descent was to be 
made upon the French settlements upon the St. Lawrence He 
assembled an army of 700 Canadian militia, 130 regular soldiers, 
and 200 Indian allies, in July, 1683. While coming up the St 
Lawrence, he learned that the more friendly of the Iroquois nations 
had prevailed upon the Senecas to listen to overtures of peace. The 
English had offered their mediation, with intimations that they 
would make common cause with the hostile nations of Iroquois if 
the French Governor persevered in his warlike demonstrations. 
M. de la Barre crossed Lake Ontario, and quartered his army at a 
Bay m what is now Jefferson countv, and awaited the arrival of 
peace deputies of the Iroquois. While there, the French army suf- 
lered much for want of wholesome provisions, and they named the 
place « La Famine," or Hungry Bay. The Indians met them, with 
an Unondaga chief, Garangula, at their head. A speech was made 
by the French Governor, and replied to by Garangula, in a tone 
ot contempt and derision, rather than of fear or submission. * He 
well knew that famine and disease had weakened the French force, 
and even tantali:.ed them by allusion to their misfortunes. De la 

*For n rorn'ot translation of this noted ! speed., copied from La Hontan seo 
offn'i n '/'"■'■■'■■■'^^ M--- Clinton s,ud : _ " I believe it i'n.poH.sil.lo to tind i , a i the 
ITn the'veir'.'™'"' "/'/''-''•"/'■■'l""-.^. ^ ^P-'^"'' "'ore . mropriate or convinoi,,,' 
Liii.rtlevedot roHpcotfid profession, it conveys tlie most ()iti'iir irony: and wliiU- 
i .s !pf'',l „Tm '"i V'lr *^P'""^i'' i'n^ory, it cont^.ins the most adid reasonintr," The 
of tbeiiquit ' ^^^«t°'-:^«f Onondaga," regards Lim as having been the NesU,r 



Ban-e, says the Baron la Hontan, who was present, " returned to his 
lent much enraged at .hat he had heard." The interview ended 
by a stipulation on the part of the Senecas that they would make 
reparation for some alleged wrongs ; * and on the part of tlie French 
Governor, that he would immediately withdraw his army. The dis- 
comfitted and chagrined la Barre withdrew an army made feeble 
by disease and hunger ; and upon reaching Montreal, learned that 
a French force had arrived, which would have enabled him to 
humble the proud warriors, and provoking orator he had met on 
the wild shores of Lake Ontario. 

[Of local events, the expedition of De Nonville follows next in order of time. A 
brief nUimnii to it wiU be found in Mr. Hosmer's chapter upon the Senecas, and more 
of it will be found in tliu Appendix, No. 2.] 

The Iroquois were prompt tocairy the war home upon their in- 
vaders. In November following De Nonville 's expedition, they at- 
tacked the French fort on the Sorrel, and were repulsed, but they 
ravaged the neighboring French settlements, and made captives. 
Darkness lowered upon the French cause. 

"In this same year, there fell upon Canada an evil more severe 
than Indian aggression .or English hostility. Toward the end of 
the summer, a deadly malady visited the colony, and carried mourn- 
ing into almost every household. So great was the mortality, that 
M. De Nonville was constrained to abandon, or rather defer, his 
project of humbling the pride and power of the Tsonnonthouans 
He had also reason to doubt the faith of his Indian allies ; even the 
Ilurons of the far West, who had fought so stoutly by his side on 
the shores of Lake Ontario, were discovered to have been at the 
time in treacherous correspondence with the Iroquois." 

" While doubt and disease paralized the power of the French, 
their dangerous enemies were not idle. Twelve hundred Iroquois 
warriors assembled at Lake St. Francis, within two days' march 
of Montreal, and haughtily demanded audience of the Governor, 
which was immediately granted. Their orator proclaimed the 
power of his race, and the weakness of the white men, with all the 
emphasis and striking illustration of Indian eloquence. He offered 

* The wronnp complained of. wore the destruction, by the Senecas of a l.-ir™ 
nnnibor of the cmuoos „f the Freucli trnders, on (heir way to the K the akiiS 



peace on terms proposed by the Governor of New York but o.I„ 
allowe,! t e French four days for deliberation," ' °"'^ 

strations. The whole country west of the river Sorrel, or Uichlien 
was occ„p,ed by a savage host, a,.d the distant fort o c4ta touv' 
on the Ontario shore, was with dilBeultv held loail Ron T ^' 

wo had burned the fann stores with l^ Z , and ZZ 
oatte of the settlers. The French bowed befor he ,„rt "he„ 
could not resist, and peace was concluded on Condi ions th" war 
» ould cease in the land, and all the allies should Tar „ X 
bloss.ngs of repose. M. De Nonviile furUier agreed to rel e he 
n .au c ,ers who had been so treacherously to™ rom i ei " a. va 
w.Ms, and sent to labor in the galleys of France "• 

Before the treaty was concluded, however, the implacable ene 
m,es of the Iroquois, the Ahenaquis. attacked then, o he SorreT 
destroyed many, and pushed Iheir conquest even to the F l ,- 
.ernents. And nearly at the sa,„e, a^ZunSitut 


to h,s own country, he went up the St. Lawrence, and lyi„,r-„ a" 

.t:: ■tSSsrkiit^r™ irL^ ''-'■■ '-^ ^^'""- 

...en preluded that he was a!ti„^ 

wtly backwoods Mefernich had concluded it would : - A retKwtl 

* Conquest of Canada. ~ ' ~ ' • — 

vi.o honof-ablc and u.sdul ca 'eor can U'^ .^^ '^' *? Franco :-<• His othu-l 

act of troacliory. Fron. tl.e day we, h, cv 1 d fl '"/" '^''""^ '/^"^ "*' ""« ^'"'k 
"K.US Indians, sctiriied .. broLii "ml t ■ t , I ' '';"'/' U"' ""'^' '"'f •""^'".'ifii. 

Kiiould not Itave nintio Do CSc w , k - • '^^^^^^^^ Tho awtl.or 

..ndcr instructions. The instnlcVilt o iVi Tn'^o^V ■• "' J""^^''^""^^^- '''^ --t-' 

^^l^e t.e,^ ^^edl^ e^S^o^^^uSlt;^]],!— ^ S -'LSi^ 


of hostilities was soon made by the Iroquois, to revenge themselves 
tor the supposed baseness of the French Governor. Twelve hun- 
dred Iroquois warriors made a descent upon the Island of Montreal 
burnt the French houses, sacked their plantations, and put to the 
sword all the men, women and children within the outskirts of the 
town. •• A thousand French were slain in the invasion, and twentv- 
six carried into captivity."* The marauders retreated, but not with- 
out further destruction of life;-a force of one hundred French and 
htty Indians, sent m pursuit, were entirely cut off. " The disastrous 
incursions filled the French with panic and astonishment. Thev at 
once blew up the forts of Cataracouy. (Kingston,) and Niagara, 
burned two vessels, bulk under their protection, and altogether 
abandoned the shores of the western Lakes.'' y Frontenac m-rived 
at Quebec in October, 1689, at a period of great depression with the 
colony. H.s hands were strengthened by the government of 
France, but a vast field of labor was before him. Ke repaired to 
Montreal, and summoned a council of the western Indians ; the 
hrst rnd most miportant consummation to be effected, bein- their 
perfect conciliation and alliance:-" As a representative of the 
Ualhc Monarch, claiming to be the bulwark of Christendom - Count 
Frontenac, himself a peer of France, now in his seventieth year, 
placed the murderous hatchet in the hands of his allies; and ivith 
tomahawk m his own grasp, chaunted the war-song, danced the 
war-dance, and listened, apparently with delight, to the threat of 
savage vengeance." J 

In the February preceding the event just alluded to, the revolu- 
tion m England had been consummated. William and Mary had 
succeeded to the throne, and soon after which France had declared 
a war against England, in which the American colonies became at 
once involved, and a contest ensued, in which the question of undi- 
vided empire m all this portion of North America was the stake to 
be won; -France and England had both determined upon entire 
conquest Frontenac succeeded in conforming the alliance of 
nearly all the western tribes of Indians, and through the mission- 

* Smitli'8 History of New York. 

t Bancroft. 




aries was enabled to make a partial divisioMof the Iroquois from the 
English interests. He soon received from his government instruc- 
tions to war for conquest, not only upon New England and New 
Vork, but upon all the Indian allies of the English. His instruc 
tions contemplated an attack upon "Manathe." ("Manhattan" or 
l\ew York,) by sea, and an attack upon Fort Orange by land 
and a descent upon the Hudson, to co-operate with the naval 
expedition. The French force in Canada, of regulars and militia 
was about two thousand. In February, 1G89, an expedition 
started from Montreal and after a long march through the wild- 
erness. in which they were obliged to walk up to their knees 
m water, and break the ice with their feet, in order to find a solid 
tootmg. they arrived in the vicinity of Schenectady, the then 
farthest advanced of the English settlements. Arriving at a soli- 
tary wigwam, the benumbed and disabled from the effects of the 
severe cold weather, warmed themselves by its fire, and information 
was gamed from the squaws who inhabited it, how they could best 
fall upon the village and execute their terrible mission of war and 
retribution upon those who had as.cisted the Mohawk branch of the 
Iroquois ,n their onslaughts upon the French settlements. In all 
their march and contemplated attack, they had been assisted by a 
formerch.ef of the Mohawks, who had deserted his country and 
Identified himself with the French allies at the west. Approaching 
the point of attack, he had eloquently harangued the French and their 
Indian aJIies to "lose all recollections of their fatigue in hopes of 
aking ample revenge for the injuries they had received from th 
Iroquois at the solicitation of the English, and of washino them out 
m the blood of thetrai^ors."* At eleven o'clock at nighuhey came 
ne.r the settlement, and deliberating whether they should no^no 
pone the attack to a moredead hour of the night, were compel I'd by 
th^e xcessive co ld^ton^sh^ their victims and destroy them, tJ 

that oLped. bc4nVrdotX'.Vpit f tll^s "tH^^ ^'"^•^' "'' "" *'"' P"P"l'»tion 

inandantof the pkco, "C. Sa Jc?- wl , 1^ ' ^ ^ '"/'^"'^■"'''^' of the British com- 
to some Frencl, PrLs, „„9 ' The Fr 'nrl !'.' 'n*'^." ''T" ^''^'"■' P'■<'^'i<>"aly 

" tl,e lives of fift'y or "i^n- nc, on. o J" " ' ' '" *'"/ 'V-^ Do<-u,„ent..,' .ay. that 
havii^S escaped tlL fir.t l?.ry ol uttacS' ' "" ""'^ '^''^'^'''' ''"'' 'l"^"^- ^W 

' ■ i. 





enjoy the warmth of their burning hamlets. A small garrison, where 
there were soldiers under arms, was first attacked, carried, set fire 
to aiid burned, and all its defenders slaughtered. Then succeeded 
hours of burning and massacre, until almost the entire population 
and their dwellings had been destroyed. The details of the terrible 
onslaught are familiar to the general reader. It was a stealthy mid- 
night assault, a work of the sword and the torch, that has few par- 
allels in all the wars upon this continent. The whole forms an early 
legend of the Mohawk, and was the precursor of the terrible scenes, 
that in after years were enacted in that once harrassed and ravaged, 
but now smiling and peaceful valley. 

As if satiated with this work of death ; paralized by the severity 
of the weather, or intimidated by the English strength at Albany ; 
the French retraced their steps, with their prisoners and plunder, not, 
however, without suffering from hunger and cold, enough to make 
the victory, if such it could be called, a dear one. The flesh of 
the horses they had taken at Schenectady, was for a part of the 
march their only food. About one hundred and fifty Indians and 
fifty young men of Albany, pursued them to Lake Charaplam, and 
even over it, killing some and taking others prisoners. 

Another expedition left Three Rivers and penetrated the wilder- 
ness to the Piscataqua River in Maine, surprised a small English 
settlement, killed thirty of its inhabitants, and made the rest prisoners. 
After which they fell in with another French force, and destroyed 
the English Fort at Casco. 

A third expedition went among the Western Indians to confirm 
their alliance by intimidation and a lavish bestowal of presents ; 
and was by far the most successful of the three. It helped vastly to 
turn trade in the direction of Montreal, and strengthened the French 
with many of the powerful nations of the west. On their way, they 
fe'l in with and defeated a large war party of the Iroquois. 

While all this was in progress, war i)arties of the hostile Iroquois 
had been making repeated incursions down the St. Lawrence, 
harrassing the French settlements. 

The incursions of the French at the eastward had aroused the 
people of New England to make common cause with the people of 
New York and their Iroquois allies. In May, 1G90, deputies from 
New York and all the New England colonies met in Alliany, and 
made the quarrel fheir own insfear! of that of England, who had been 


remiss in aiding their colonies to carry it on. A general invasion 
ol the Lrench colony was resolved upon. Two expeditions were 
arranged, one to sail Iro.n Boston to Quebec, and the other to cross 
the country to the St. Lawrence, and descending the River join the 
naval expedition at Quebec. Both were failures. The land force 
under General Wintlirop of Connecticut. 800 strong, marched from 
Albany to Lake Champlain. where they were disappointed in not 
meeting 500 Iroquois warriors a^ had been aggreed upon, and the In- 
dians had also failed to provide the necessary canoes for crossi;.g 
the Lake. A council of war was held and a retreat agreed upon 
Major Schuyler of the New York levies, had however, preceded the 
main army, and crossed the Lake without knowing that Winthrop 
had retreated. He attacked a small garrison at La Prairie, and oblicred 
them to fall back toward Chambly. The French in retreatin- fell 
m with a reinforcement, and turned upon their pursuers; a severe 
engagement ensued ; overpowered by numbers, Schuyler was obliged 
to retreac. Sir William Phipps had command of the naval ex- 
pedition, which con.sisted of 35 vessels and 200 troops. After captur 
ing some French posts at New Foundland, and upon the Lower St 
Lawrence, the British squadron arrived at the mouth of the Sa-e- 
nay, Frontenac having learned that the English land force had 
turned back, had hastened to Quebec, and ordered a concentration 
of .is forces there. The slow approach of the New England inva- 
ders gave him a plenty of time to prepare for defence. On the 5th 
of October the squadron appeared before Quebec and the next day 
demanded a surrender. To the enquiry of the bearer of the mes- 
sage what answer he had to return, the brave old Count said •- 
iell your master I will answer by the mouth of my cannon, that 
he may learn that a man of my rank is not to be summoned in this 

TT'- Jr^u '"''^ ^"""^^^^ •■ - ^ ^^^'^^ «^ 1700 was landed un- 
der Major Walley, and had much hard fighting, with but indifferent 
success, with French out-posts. In the mean time. Phipps had 

ibrtr TrT ' ^'"'^"^ '^' {^eaviestguns against the town and 
loitress. The fire was mostly ineffectual; directed principally 
against the high eminence of the Upper Town, it fell short of the 
mark, while a destructive fire was pouring down upon the assail- 

fl^! 'f L '""u ''''' '''"''""'^ but twenty hours, when the Briti..h 
fleet fell down the stream out of the reach of the galling fire from 
the ramparts of the besieged fortress. The force under Major 




Wrliey, upon land, continued the firrht frennmllu c,.„« 1 
.heir approacho. After a -nes of "slwpTnJatm "r, fe'Tand 
orco were oMipd ,o resort ,o a hurried embarira.r '^ Id o^ 
Ile.r vessels. It was a night scene of panic and ,lis„,^ 
l'.sing tl,ei,- lives l,y ,he ups° of boatT The ar* v 1".""' 
taken on shore, fell into the hands of the French LeS .7 
abled ship. Phipps retnrned to Boslon to'lf.o tltT, f ot'lt 

Quebec ■"''• " "' """""' "^ '"^ ™-" °f '- ^'egeTf 

Then followed a winter of re|>ose with the French colonv b„. of 
d^ay and apprehension in New England and New York' who! 
fl et and „„y ^^j ,„ .^^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ Iroquois who h"d 
& led to co-operate with Winthrop in th« fall, werl early in .he 
held by themselves in the sprint In Miv n .). "^"7 '" '"« 
warriors approached Montrea";, lading ^al^^FXltlle^^^^ 
and re-cnact,ng all the horrid scenes of former year7-ulT"„; 

repeated, and with similar results ^' "'""'"'" "' 

.he'^Frenlh'rdtTh"" '"" "' '',""''* ^"'' '''^'•"'' -^ '"d-" -a^, 
merrench under the energetic administration of Frontenac all ,U 

wh,le extending their settlements, and stren^theniniTheirwho 1 1 
omal pos,t,on. though with arms in their hai^d l^we I ,n s J 
content to act upon the defensive, while on the part of tie fT. 

.akiT-t Oiitarit) and ClianiDlaii, i„ inptm . *-""']"^'st« overthoir own raco. Crossina- 

heir .tealtliy a.s,,ault,s and savago wartim^ £ on 1' ° ' "'--^ '"'• '.^^°'" ^'^^ "«' ""^v 
tlu^r race added to ordinary >)ravorv-.thev ^r d f ■' °'^'""«''?"« ^itli the stoicism of 
so dions of Franco, a.tonislfinj. the "men Xl Sinii-^ '""^'^ *™"''^ *'"'' ^*^'*^'-'»" 
achievements. The best soldrers of Franco ^ndfe "^ 'he aits of war with their 
occasion, for aB e.ual un.berof unt^^ saJdlii^^f S^^S S^ '"^ ^^ 




tering the Onondaga Lake, the army was divided, a portion of it being 
sent against the Ojieidas, while Frontenac landed with the main force 
destined for the attack upon the Onondagas. The old Count had 
now become so decrepid from age and hard service, that he was 
borne to the point of attack upon a litter ; presenting a scene spiced 
somewhat with romantic heroism, if the object of attack had in any 
considerable degree corresponded with the military array and pre- 
paration. The French army landed upon the banks of the Lake, and 
threw up some defences. The Onondagas were aware of the ap- 
proach, fortified themselves as woll as they could in their castle, 
.sent away all but their warriors, and resolved upon a desperate de- 
fence. They were, however, intimidated by a Seneca prisoner, who 
had escaped from the French, who told them that Frontenac's army 
" was as numerous as the leaves on the trees, and that they had ma- 
chines which threw up large balls in the air, which falling on their 
cabins would burst in pieces scattering fire and death every where 
around, against which their stockades would be no defence," This 
was a kind of warfare new to them, and which they resolved not to 
encounter, setting fire to their castle and cabins, t-hey fled and left 
their invaders the poor triumph of putting to death one old Indian 
Sachem, who remained to become a sacrifice and defy and scorn 
the invaders, even while they were applying their instruments of 
torture. The Oneidas fled at the approach of the other division of the 
French army, but thirty of them remaining to welcome the invaders 
and save their castle, village, and crops. They were made prisoners 
and the village, castle, and crops destroyed. No rumor came from 
the English, but the fear of one hastened the French retreat across the 
Lake to Fort Frontenac, and from thence to Montreal. 

The treaty of peace concluded at Ryswick, and the death of Fron- 
tenac soon followed, leaving partial repose to the harrassed French 
and English colonies. The amiable Callieres, the governor of Mon- 
treal, succeeded Frontenac, but hardly lived to witness the consum- 
mation of his wise measures for conciliating the Iroquois, renewing 
Indian alliances, and generally to better the condition of the aflliirs 
of New France. lie was succeeded by Vaudreiul who was soon 
waited upon by a deputation of Iroquois, that acknowledged the 
French dominion. 

It was but a short breathing spell for the colonies : — In May, 
1702, what was called "Queen Ann's war," was declared, and the 

rnELPS AND goeiiam's purchase. 


scenes of what had been called " King William's war," were re-enact- 
ed upon this continent. 

The Province of New York took but little part in the contest, and 
itschief I irden fell upon New England. The Indians, within their 
own limits, reinforced by the Indians of Canada, and not unfrequent- 
ly accompanied by the French, made incursions into all parts of the 
eastern English Provinces, falling upon the frontier settlements with 
the torch, the tomahawk and knife, and furnishing a long catalogue 
of captivity and death, that mark that as one of the most trying pe- 
riods in a colonial history, upon almost every page of which we are 
forcibly reminded how much of blood and suffering it cost our pio- 
neer ancestors to maintain a foothold upon this continent.* The 
war on the part of the English colonies, was principally directed 
against Port Royal, Quebec and Montreal. Most of the expeditions 
they fitted out were failures ; there was a succession of shipwreck, 
badly framed schemes of conquest ; organization of forces but to be 
disbanded before they had consummated any definite purposes; 
"marching up hills and marching down again." 

Such being the geographical features of the war ; the Province 
of New York having assented to the treaty of neutrality between 
the French and Five Nations, and contenting itself with an enjoy- 
ment of Indian trade, while their nei'Thborinc; Provinces were strung- 
gling against the French and Indians ; there is little to notice having 
any immediate connexion w-ith our local relations. 

Generally, during the war, the Five Nations preserved their 
neutrality. They managed with consummate skill to be the inti- 
mate friends of both the English and French. Situated between 
two powerful nations at war Avith each other, they concluded the 
safest way was to keep themselves in a position to fall in with the 
one that finally triumphed. At one period, when an attack upon 
Montreal was contemplated, they were induced by the English to 
furnish a large auxiliary force, that assembled with a detachment of 
English troops at Wood Creek. The whole scheme amounting to 
a failure, no opportunity was offered of testing their sincerity; but 
from some circumstances that transpired, it was suspected that they 
were as much inclined to the French as to the English. At one 



From the yonr 1675, to llio ch •■ of Queen Ann's War in 1713, about six thousand 
of (lie Enirlisli colonists, liad perished by tlio stroke of tJio eneniv. or by distsmnei-a 
contracted la military service. . . i 






period during the war, five Iroquois Sachems were prevailed upon 
to visit England for the purpose of urging renewed attempts to 
conquer Canada. They were introduced to the Queen, decked 
out in splendid wardrobe, exhibited through the streets of London 
at the theatres, and other places of public resort ; feasted and toast- 
ed, they professed that their people were ready to assist in extermi- 
nating the French, but threatened to go home and join the French 
unless more effectual war-measures were adopted. " This was a les 
son undoubtedly taught them by the English colonies, who had sent 
them over to aid in exciting more interest at home in the contest 
that was waging in the colonies. The visit of the Sachems had tern- 
porarily the desired effect. It aided in inducing the English gov- 
ernment to furnish the colonies with an increased force of men and 
vessels of war, in assisting in a renewed expedition against Mon- 
treal and Quebec, which ended, as others had, in a failure. They 
got nothing from the Five Nations but professions; no overt act of 
co-operation and assistance. The Governor of the province of 
New York, all along refused to urge ihem to violate their engage- 
ments of neutrality ; for as neutrals, they were p. barrier to the 
frontier settlements of Nev. York, against the encroachments of the 
iTench and their Indian allies. 

"The treaty of Utrecht, in April, 1713, put an end to the war 
France ceded to England 'all Nova Scotia or Arcadia, with its 
ancient boundaries ; also, the city of Port Royal, now called An- 
napohs Royal, and all other things in those parts, which depend up- 
on the said lands.' France stipulated in the treaty that she would 
'never molest the Five Nations, subject to the dominion of Great 
Jiritam,' leaving still undefined their boundaries, to fbrm with other 
questions of boundary and dominion, future disagreements. ' 

In all these years of war, French interests at the West had not 
been neglected. In 1701, a French officer, with a small colony 
and a Jesuit missionary, founded the city of Detroit. * The peace 
of their respective sovereigns over the ocean, failed to reconcile 
difficulties between the colonies. Tiie trade and the right to navi- 
gate the Lakes, was a monopoly enforced by the French, which the 
English colonies of New York were bent upon disturbing, though 

yond Iho UeneseeSn '^°'' ^' ''*"°"''"'^ "^ ^''^''' ^"^^ ^''^ ^'''^ ^'^'^'"'''^ ^«' 



liled upon 
tempts to 
II, decked 
' London, 
and toast- 
i extermi- 
e French 
ivas a les- 
had sent 
e contest 
had tem- 
lish gov- 
men and 
1st Mon- 
. They 
rt act of 
i'ince of 
r to the 
ts of the 

he war. 
with its 
led An- 
•end up- 
e would 
»f Great 
th other 

had not 
e peace 
ich the 

iced be- 

the terms of peace had in effect, confirmed it. The English as- 
sumed that all of what is now Western New York, was within 
thair dominions, by virtue of but a partial alliance of its native 
owners and occupants ; and the French claimed by a similar tenure ; 
for, in fact, it was a divided alliance, fluctuating with the policy of 
the Senecas, who seemed well to understand the importance of 
their position, and were resolved to make the most of it. Soon af- 
ter 1700, we find a marked and progressive change in the disposi- 
tion of the Senecas towards the French. This we may well at- 
tribute to the influence of the Jesuit missionaries, who had sue- 
ceeded in getting permanent missionary stations among them, in a 
greater degree, perhaps, to the advent of an extraordinary person- 
age, who, for a long period, exercised an almost unbounded influ- 
ence throughout this region. This was Joncaire, a Frenchman, 
who, from a captive among the Senecas, merged himself with them, 
was adopted, and became the faithful and indefatigable promoter 
of the French interests. We first hear of him from Charlevoix, who, 
m 1721, found him the occupant of a cabin at Lewiston, where he 
had gathered around him a small Indian settlement, and where a 
fortress was contemplated - the right to build which, he had nego- 
tiated with the Senecas. He then bore a commission in the French 
army. He was familiar with all the localities of this region, and 
gave to Charlevoix a description of the "river of the Tsoutonouans," 
(Genesee river,) the Sul^-hur Springs at Avon, and the Oil Spring 
at Cuba. In 17r.O, Kalm, the German traveller, found a half-blood 
Seneca, a son of hb, at Lewiston ; and in 1753, Washington made 
the acquamtance of another son of his, while on a mission to the 
French at the West, and mentions that he was then preferring the 
French claim to the Ohio, by virtue of the discoveries of L.i Salle. 
In 1759. these two half-biood sons bore commissions in the French 
army, and were among the French forces of the West, that were 
defeated on the Niagara River, on their way to re-inforce the be- 
sieged garrison. In 1730, M. de Joncaire, the elder, ',M made a 
report to the French Superintendent at Montreal, of all the Indians 
whom he regarded as '-connected with the government of Canada." 
rie embraces the whole of the Iroquois nations, and locates them 
principally through this State, from Schenectady to the Niagara 
River ; and in Canada, along near the lower end of Lake Ontario, 
all of the nations of Canada, and nil inhabiting the. valleys of the 



lii i 

western lakes, the Ohio inrl th^ i\r 

ment, he ment ons that hoT. " ^^''f'^PV^- I" this official docu- 
"He snok. » """' ^^7« '« "engaged at the history of the Sioux" 

mZ t^eJZ 'enit fi " ''V ''' '-' ^^"^ '' ^ '^'- 
elo^enceofou^^^t '"^'^ ''■''''' ^^ ^^^^ all the .ublime 

ernor of Ne v Yc^^ ^ . ^'"'''^' '" '^'' '^''''''''■' b»t the Gov- 

a fort at Osvve.0 and XJwn ^"^I'sh Governor, Burnett, built 
ouoit " ThI ■ P "" store-house" at the Bay of "Ironde- 

quo.t. The year previous, the French, upon the ruins of ZT 
porary works of De Nonville h-id h,nU / v ^^'^■ 

protests and remonstrance: ontE^L ^'^'''^ '^^^'"^^ '^^ 

J': Tz:^i:^::':;~z:^ -- ^^ ^^^^^^ out- 
sanatory expeditions, of F enTandTnIn '?"''"'"^^' '^ ^" 

but little reference to this o..T '''^''' ''"'''' '" ^^' "^^i" 

one prominentTaVse c!^^^ J^SltTofV ^f h ^'"^^". '^^'^ ^^'- 
countries had but little influen e witlfXnl "''" '^^ ""^^"^' 
make war upon their own accost Toft ^a^^^^^^^^^^ ''^'^'' 

t Wk n,otwith tl.o Hire,;;:, p ^ ^;/ n^F^::,?' '"•i'f'"T^t'»H.,n nt Lowisi a''^ ^^,s ponsislh,^ i/, allcnvinff /l/ei ' j ' ' " 7^?'.'/ " 5""tn,]Ii„f, tJ.c ,„H(fcr. T),e 

country , sin poaec, the 4,k.I, a, /^v ' ';,.i,l I ""■'";''' ' 'f '^"'"''"'''■■'^,.,l :_.o''; 
raisi,,;. .listMrbanccH. ilore. v • '/ ' .^ "™'" ^" "'' ° *" "v^' t,«othcM- with, t 
>.;ro ; he IS a d.ihl „f the nation h^ 'ni m n;:;;r? /■' i' •^'""^""•^^'«'"l<i r^'nZ 
t '!ve Ironi hi„i.'' Soon after thi. the h . vL ^ .: ''''"''' "''■ ""' ""^ nt Jibevt v to 

•own the river, and paved the v^.yC'^'ll:'^''^"^^ I'is view. i;,4e 

1 i>H was acco.nnlishl,,! by a ursB on the t-f f r "*•''' "'""" *■•""•'•«« "t Nia.^. ra 
Ihe Senecusha.'l no iUea^of,lLti,iTi;1.^."^'''f •"'%••"'' "tl'-r Fren<h ofiic'rs" 
then- terntory. A body of Im , c 1. ' ' "' ' '"' ^'"•-"■•^'' lorlifications ,m, 
Niasara nver, to conu/ence ti.e Srk w .bl?'"' ""'■'""^'^'^' '''^ ^''^ ">"""' "* > " 
take It ni the presence of the Hc^Zt ul^^ '^ "o nieans stron.j. eno„-ii to nndcr- 
tirst f,'ot jierniission (o bui! | •, ^I'T' •J"''' watclun- their rnov,.n,e,rm TJ Z It 

c.slron.'bein.wi,nes.S;IVL^,n^Sbi:; '^kn'''""^^ 

UMble the French to protect nvcinsolv^seSi attack '''""»'' '"^™"^«1 ^o 



French continued to extend their posts to the West and South West 
and the English to strengthen the frontiers of New Encrland, and 
their advance post at Oswego. ° 

n^^T'^t ^'^^^ ^''^'''''' ''^''^^'^^ "^^^ ^g'"^'"''* F^^'i'^ce and Spain. 
1 he first blow struck upon this continent, was the capture of Louis- 
burg, which success emboldened Governor Shirley, of Massachu- 
setts, to ask the co-operation of the other colonies in an attempt to 
drive the French from all their American possessions ; some de- 
monstrations with that view were made; but the principal events 
of the campaign were at sea, and upon the frontiers of New Enrr. 
land. The short war was closed by the peace of Aix la Chapelfe, 
of 1748. Its chief result had been the loss to the French of all the 
Northern frontier coast, to repair which, they immediately projected 
schemes for extending their dominion to the valley of the Ohio and 
upon the Mississippi, to the Gulf of Mexico. In 1750, commission- 
ers met in Pans to adjust American boundaries, but after a long 
session, accomplished nothing. Difficulties arose in a new quarter. 
The crown of England granted to an association of its subjects at 
home, and in Virginia, called the Ohio Company, 000,000 acres of 
land upon the Ohio river, all of which was upon lerriiorv claimed 
by France. The attempts of this Company to survey and settle 
these lands, and the building of French posts upon them, simulta- 
neously, brought the English and French colonists into direct con- 
flict. The campaign was opened by the Governor of Vkmnla, who 
sent an armed force to the disputed ground. Other colonies soon 
co-operated ; and after the contest had been attended with alternate 
successes and reverses, in 1755, General Braddock came with a 
force from England, to aid the colonies. All the events of the war 
upon the Allegany and the Ohio, form prominent pnges of American 
history; ultimately connected with the history of our western 
States ; but deriving its chief general interest from the circumstance 
that it was the school of experience and discipline, where the sword 
of the youthful Washington was first unsheathed. 

Braddock's defeat followed ; then General Shirley's abortive ex- 
pedition in the direction of Niagara ; Sir William Johnson's par- 
tially successful expedition to Lake George ; the advent of Lord 
Loudon, as Commander-in-chief of the British army in America ; 
which principal events closed the campaign of 1755 ; and in the a<r'. 
gregate, had darkened British prospects on this side of the Atlantic 



':•' ! 



county of OneUa !Lr r, "" "'^''^ '■'"■ '" >'''»' '» "<"^ 'he 
a French f„,co „, Ihr W "" ''"S''«='™"' "f 2n.J».roc. wi,h 

Ihe British fort" Z?ZT r;V"'" '■""°"^'' ''>' "'^ "P""-" of 

These princ pa 1°: r ^^^^'^Tm- ''°"'°'"™- 
Indian depredations ?,! , "'^ "P °'' f''™'^'' ""d 

mination of the border s« I "'^ '..-"""""^ "''"os. to the exter- 
terests, at tl,e close of th, l'™"7l'»nia ; gave to British in- 

e»cct,r,i„, .::rot\:7Zht -- - 

Lord L n on CO ee^ , 1 rT '^r"f ™- ^"""»' ""' -'— • 
posablc forces of till " T"' "'"'" "'""^'" """y- "" "'= d''" 

added, u e, o Cm !" n "l'' " P"""*' ""''=' -™™™' 

.on.butaba„redS::itra r"'^ 

ble ; for reasons vvhieh7„l ■•° '"'''°''>' '"™'"'' "»="'.» ="»'na- 

fare T,l i;? ™'"" '' '"}-^"=0-in the history of En dish war 

cah„ in perso", ct SI, '^t;:::;^!! :.i'^,';?^ •■-- '^'-- 

wasayearofdisa^terswi,MI,„ 17 V> / Wilham Henry. It 

were embarke „d Jil | 1 ='"'' ' '°'™"'''"'' """«'' »"" ■"'vie. 


Mr P ,!' ,d ' ""'"'"' ^"S'"""* ''"'""'^'.ood .— It wa, that of 
of itf ff itv 'r"T'°" °' "^ ""'""■^- «'• •""•">-'l -a To aspcc 


or whoever is out " s-ii,-l J nrA r\ . 7 ,' °"''- Whoever is in. 

^nehare::rrdots::i^:i ;:t:!-:r^r '"- 
tbe'ix o'r[::i:bt:rrc''"''°^f = ""^"^^"'^ •'•'"«-™ 

military offiecr7XS n . '' '° '■™°''''' "f"'" ""™l and 

recalled I-or: A*r tiThe ^./.^tG"' '" '"""T' "'■ "" 

irom tne auny in Germany, and made him 

ack of tJie 
^ now the 
•trcct with 
capture of 

renc'i and 
tlie exter- 
British in- 
even less 

ring, by a 
under the 
! summer, 
II the dis- 
^ape Bre- 
y attaina- 
clish war- 
is, Mont- 
Jnry. It 
id navies 
!re abor- 
s of the 

that of 
5 aspect 
t it was 
er is in. 
, "lam 
. Ttie 

are no 

gs, was 
.'al and 
Ir. Pitt 
de him 



commander in chief of the expedition, and made the Hon. Edward 
Boscawen the Admiral of the fleet. An expedition consisting of 23 
ships of the line, 15 frigates, 120 smaller vessels, on board of°which 
were nearly 12,000 British regulars, sailed from Portsmouth and arri- 
ving at Ilalifiix on the 2Sth of May, soon commenced the siege of 
Louisburg, which ended in a capitulation of the strong for»ress,"after 
a gallant and protracted resistance, on the 25th of July. The' fruits 
of the conquest were 5,000 French prisoners ; 11 ships of war taken 
or destroyed ; 250 pieces of ordnance ; 15,000 stand of arms, and a 
great amount of provisions and military stores. A scene of plunder 
and devastation followed in all that region, which dimmed the lustre 
of British arms. 

Far less of success attended British arms in this campaign in other 
quarters :— Mr. Pitt had infused among the despairing colonies, a new 
impulse; they had sent into the field an efficient force of 9,000 men, 
which were added to 6,000 regulars— all under the command of Aber-' 
crombie. In July, he had his strong force afloat on Lake George, 
proceeding to the attack upon Ticonderoga and Crown Point, 'a 
protracted siege of Ticonderoga followed, badly conducted in almost 
every particular; the sequel, a retreat, with the loss of nearly 2,000 
men. The intrepid Bradstreet soon made partial amends for this un- 
fortunate enterprise, by the capture of Fort Frontenac, then the strong 
hold of French Indian alliance. General Stanwix advanced up the 
Mohawk and built the Fort that took his name. In the mean time 
General Forbes had left Pliiladelphia with an efficient army of over 
0,000 regulars and provincials, and after a defeat of his advance force, 
had captured Fort du Quesne, changing the name to Fort Pitt in 
honor of the great master spirit who was controlling England's des- 

Note. -How ofton iiro tnuinphg of arms, the result of chance! It is btit a few 
vcarsBmco an Arnoncau General confe.sse.l that a sple.ulid victory wns owing r^.tl^ 
ftict that . on.e unJj^cn.Lne,! troops ,11.1 not know when they we.4 fmrly conqnered 
pcrsevere.1 ,n (ho hj^ht and turne,! ll,o ti.le ,.f battle. An ini, hist.frian la ml i 
upon ev. ,y subjec he touohoH, a.j.nivs that ll-e capture ..f Louisburir was accid.'ntu - 
the hrst successful landm- was made by W„]f, then a General. Gen 
Amherst doubte.l >t« j,rm-t,cal,ility. "The chivalrous Wolf himself, as he „e ed tbe 
awlul sml, sniggered m las resolution, and nrop„siugto .h.ferthe enterprise, waved his 
hat lor the boats o retire 'I hr,.,- y„uMg subaltern oHlcers.-howevor, connnandin.Mhe 
1 ad ng eft, puH HMl on shore, having miHtaken the signal for what their stout hca ts 

H , r , : ,f L -T r ' '•^';'^'''"'.'?«V.'.'^' ■■""! ci.'ov.'ned, but tlie renmint^er climbed up 

r, f IT V • '"."' (""""'^ "I'"" ^'^^ ™"""^f- '•'''« Bng'^'lier then cheered on tlie 
rest lit tliM i|ivi«i,iri (.1 ti>,. tiMiir-iii't of f'ii> •.iH , t (• i •• ■ i ^""-""" i'". 

landing was accomplishod.'''^ ' ' ""^^'"^ ^''''' "'"^ '"'' "'° '^^'""'^"' '^'^'i"'"^ 



be n ;.ectl e Ltr "'' ""f r^P^'S""' «>e year, Abercrombie ha,l 







Toward he close of 1758, the policy of the British Minister Mr 
Pitt began to be clearly developed. It looked to no farthe b effi 
cenM^easures but to a vigorous and decisive canWn vhth 

t:^z::::r t? i^i-'' ^?^^^^^' ^^^-^ -^ ^^'^' 

ttiis continent. 1 he British people, stimulated by a spirit of con 
quest, and a hatred of the French, both of which haSbe n assidu" 
ously promoted by the public press, and public men of En" nd' 
seconded the ambitious views of the Minister p7r ^"f ''"?' 
dre^sinrr thp Thrr>, i , ^» uie ivimistei. rarliament. in ad- 

dre .ing the Throne, applauded him, and upon the recommendation 
of the King, wei-e prompt and liberal in the voting of suppl s 

corl a ::? '■'' '"" '^'^^" "P°" ^'- '-'- «f theltlant' to secure 

ord lal and vigorous co-operation ; the colonists, wearied with w 
^md Its harrassing effects, were cheered bv the exDressionlnf I 
commiseration of the Kincr nnr? I,;. expiessions of the 

fl„ I ■ J -^ "' ^"" '"^ assurances of protection nnrJ 

fina .„dem„,fioa„on; and more than all, perhap, h/lnovT.cT^ 

that Mr. Pi., had projec.ed. ,„ H. ^o^Z^^^ ^^^ 
pme. a .nonopoly of the Indian .rade, ,ho c„„™orce of e Lake 


control to bear upon the King am Parliament, and of course, had not 
failed to magnify the hindrances to British interest which continued 
French dominion imposed; nor to present in glowing language, the 
truits of conquG t and the extension of British power in America. 
Sir William Johnson, always faithful to his liberal patron the Kintr 
was more than usually active in wielding the immense influence h'e 
had acquired with the Indians to secure their aid ; he drew them 
together in different localities, urged upon them his professions of re- 
gard for their interests, inflamed their resentments by recounting 
the wrongs they had endured at the hands of the French ; listened 
to their complaints of English encroachments upon their lands, and 
was lavish m promises of ample reparation; not omitting the more 
than usually liberal distribution of presents, of which he was the 
accustomed almoner. By much the larger portion of the Five Na- 
tions of the Iroquois were won over to the British interests, a portion 
of the Senecas being almost alone in standing aloof from the contest 
or continuing in French alliance. ' 

General Amherst having succeeded to the office of Commander 
in Chief of the British forces in North America, had his head quar- 
ters m New York, in the winter of 1758, '9, actively calling to his 
aid the provincial troops, appointing Albany as the place of rendez- 
vous at which place he established his head quarters as early as the 
month of April. 

The force at the disposal of General Amherst, was larger by far 
than any that had been before mustered upon this continent. In 
addition to a large force of British regulars, the colony of Massachu- 
setts had furnished seven thousand men, Connecticut five thousand, 
and New Hampshire one thousand. The provincial regiments, as 
ast as they arrived at Albany went into camp, and were subjected 
to rigid discipline ; the regulars, who were destined for operations at 
the north, were pushed on and encamped at a point some fifty miles 
on the road to Fort Edward. 

The general plan of the campaign contemplated the conquest of 
ti.e tJiree important strong holds, and seats of power, of the French • 
Quebec, Montreal, and Niagara. The main army, under General 
Amherst, were to move from the shores of Lake George, reduce the 
French posts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, descend by the river 
Kichheu and occupy Montreal ; then, on down the St. Lawrence to 
join the besiegers of Quebec. 



Leaving the northern expedititlon to the province of general his- 
tory.with the exception perhaps of a brief allusion to it in another 
place, we will take up that portion of the general campaign, which 
IS more .mmediately blended with the history of our local region : _ 
Ihe force destined for Ningara rendezvoused at Schenectady 
early in May. It consisted of two British regiments ; a detachment 
ot Koyal Artillery ; a battalion of Royal Americans ; two battalions 
ot i>lew York Provincials; and a large force of Indian Allies under 
the command of Sir William Johnson; the most of whom were 
Mohawks, Oneidas and Onondagas, the remainder, Cayugas and 
tsenecas, with a few from such western nations as had been partly 
won over to the British interests. Brigadier General Prideaux was 
the Commander in Chief; next in rank, was Sir William Johnson 
who previous to this had been regularly commissioned in the British 
army. The force moved from Schenectady on the 20th of May 
came up the Mohawk, and via the usual water route to Oswego' 
where it remamed, completing the preparation of batteaux for ascend- 
ing Lake Ontario, for over five weeks. On the first of July, the 
whole force were embarked, and coasting along the shore of the Lake 
toward their destination ; a strong fortress, the seat of French domin. 
ion, over a widely extended region ; the key or gate-way to the pri- 
mitive commerce of the western lakes; its battlements in solitary 
grandeur frowning defiance to any force that would be likely to reach 
It through difficult avenues, in its far ofllocation in the wilderness. 
JXever m all more modern periods, have the waters of Ontario borne 
upon their bosom a more formidable armament. In addition to a 
large force, to their stores and camp equipage, was the heavy artillery, 
and all the requisites that British militarv skill and foresight had 
deemed necessary for the reduction of a strong fortress by regular 
approaches; such as the plan of attack contemplated. And how 
mixed and made up of difibrent races, and men of different habits 
and characters, was this expedition ! - There was the proud com- 
missioned and titled Briton, who had seen more of the refinements 
and luxuries of courts, than of the hardships of camps in the wilder- 
ness ; veteran officers and soldiers, who had fought in European 
wars, inured to the camp and the field ; the sons of the wealthy and 
mfluential colonial, in New York, along the Hudson river counties. 
who had sought commissions in the army, and were going out in 
their first campaign. Provincials, men and boys, transferred horn 





the stores counting-houses, and nnechanic shops of New York, and 
the rural districts of Yestchester, Richmond, Kings, Queens, Suffolk, 
Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Albany, and the lower valley of the Mo- 
hawk, to the camp, the drill, and the march that seemed then as far 
extended, and beset with more difficulies than would one over 
the mountains to Oregon now ; and lastly there was the warriors of 
the Iroquois, fully imbued with their ancient war spirit, decked out 
with feathers, claws, and hoops, the spoils of the forest chase — and 
with new paint, broad-cloths, blankets and silver ornaments, the gifts 
of the King. 

The armament coasted along up the south sliore of the Lake, en- 
camping on shore ; the first night at Sodus, invited there by the 
beautiful bay, in which their water craft could be made secure from 
winds and waves, as their frail structure demanded. Their other 
halting places for the night, were at Irondequoit, Braddock's Bay, 
and Johnson's Creek ; (which latter place was named in honor of Sir 
William Johnson ;) arrived at the mouth of the Eighteen Mile Creek, 
(what is now the village of Olcott,) within eighteen miles of Fort 
Niagara, a halt was made to enable recounoitering parties to go out 
and determine whether the French had made a sortie from the Fort 
in anticipation of their arrival. 

As they coasted along up the lake, they had occasionally dis- 
charged their heavy artillery, well knowing that a noiseless approach 
would give them no advantage, as the Indian scouts from the garri- 
son, glimpses of whom had been caught upon several occasions, had 
kept the French well informed of their movements ; and there were 
Iroquois enough in the French interest, belonging to the lower na- 
tions, to give the French missionaries and traders, in all their localr 
ities in Western New York, timely notice of all that was going on. 
But they wished to inspire the Senecas in their interests with cour- 
age and the neutrals with terror ; and well, perhaps, did their device 
subserve those purposes. 

Leaving the British army almost within sight of the field of con- 
flict, let us pass over the lake, and down the river St. Lawrence, to 
see what preparation had been made for their reception : — 

Well informed at home of the policy of Mr. Pitt; of the prepara- 
tory acts of ; of the shipping of reinforcements to the 
British army in America; of all the minutiae, in fact, of the cam- 
paign ; the French had not been idle. Despatches were sent to M. 





etcTbvtif ■ ""' """'T' °' "'"""''■ ""'' ^i» I--* «erc strength, 
eneci by reinforcements from Frnnpp u^ i * .• ■ ^ 

and country over the forest and best portions of the New World 

men., and colencod if J J J "'^ *"' ''«»"" "" -'-"'h" 

the advance workmen ■,. Ihl , "''"'""■ ""'"« "Pon 

into the opeVZund ; IlT T' "''""" '" """"-S^ f'™ 'h" foU 
tired into t for, /fit ' '"'"'. ""''""S"''' ""'' *e party re- 

fort, whic ;:; kept iiTr "r "^ '"'^--^^^ f"- "-^ 

On the 8ih m. p ■ u"^ ^ " 8™""='' portion of the night 

men! Mhe Fr th ottuCtr-'l''" ™"'" "P™ ">''^ ---'>■ 
the f„ ,, and Hon' ieur La F? T " "''°" "'"'" =" '"""-'"'^ f™" 
in the anned rhooner l\ "^"'""^ "'' ""'' ''™" '>"> Lake 
^hot. Genera Pndel'' """"^'""""y "^''d'ms them with a 
".anding a :™jt X "" "'' "'"' " """ '"'» ">e fort, de- 
Freneh'commrdt ot ™1 ^■^■""'■■'^-'y --efced by the 
exchange orXlo^Jil Tu^l '""' '""P'"^ '^^^'""^ *« 
the loth, the EnHlradvanee r""'"''''"'"''^'^*'^'-^- «» 
themselves hy entrenchment, V " "'" "P"" 8™"''. P™tecting 
^^^elment^^ occasional fire fro.n the fort! 

r««..n, ,1.0 l„,fc, ,„„if„, J V° »' 2 J; ,'; : '" 'i""',"",'"' "' « »»'"' i- 1> C 
and b,a,c, m die F™,ch .mice „ , Lli °o^?»"'"''"'' »' » >"n.J .3™ «" acU™ 

PHELPS AND gokiiam's puuciiase. 51 

%Nliich became almost incessant during the nigbt, obliging tiiem at 
tunes to suspend their works. The small French force at Schlosser 
succeeded in reaching the fort. On the 11th, a small ,krty of 
French approached within a short distance of the English trenches 
irom which they sallied out in strong force, but were driven again 
into their defences, by the guns of the fort. At 5 P. M., the En.'. 
lish opened their fire with eight mortars. ' ' '^ 

The siege continued from day to day, and night to night, with oc- 
casional, but not long-continued intermissions ; the French, too few 
in number to risk a sortie, holding out valiantly amid the tunblin<r 
walls of their devoted fortress, seriously annoying the besiegers 
by an active fire, that often arrested the progress of their works" as 
may well be inferred from their slow approaches ; wearied with toil 
and want of rest; at tJmo?, almost upon the point of abandoning 
the unequal contest. On ilio 14th, the besiegers had so e-tended 
their works, as to be enabled to bring a heavy force to bear upon 
the fort. On the evening of the 19th, their General, (Prideux,) who 
had so well planned the attack, and, so far, so well executed it 
was accidentally killed, while giving his orders in the trenches by 
the premature bursting of a shell, discharged from a cohorn mortar 
The vigor with which the siege was prosecuted, may be jud-ed 
Irom the tact, that m one night, they threw three hundred bom'bs 
Ihus things continued until the morning of the 23d, when the be- 
sieged had a gleam of hope that was destined not to be realized • — 
Anticipating this attack. Captain Pouchot had sent runners to 
Presque Isle, Le Boeuf, Venango, and Detroit, ordering thcn^ with 
their commands, and all the Indian allies tliev could muster to 
repai" to Niagara. At a moment when it seemed that the dilapidated 
fortress, and its diminished and wearied defenders could hold out no 
longer, two western Indians made their way into the fort, brincrino- 
word from Monsieur Aubrey that he had arrived with a forc°e ol' 
nearly twenty-five hundred French and Indians, at Navy Island 
opposite the " Little Fort," (Schlosser.) Four Indians were imme- 
diately despatched, to inform Monsieur Aubrey of the critical con- 
dition of the fort, and urge him to press forward to its relief 

The command of the British force having now devolved upon 
Sir William Johnson, he had anticipated the approach of the 
1-rench and Indians from the West, and kept himself carefully ad- 
vised of their movements, by means of his Indian runners On 



the evening of the 23d, he sent out strong detachments of troops, 
and posted them along on either side of the road leading from the 
tort to the Falls, about tvv., miles from the fort, where they rested 
upon then- arms during the night. Earlv in the morninrr of the 
24th, other detachments of his most efTective troops were "(ordered 
from the trenches before the fort, to re-inforce those already posted 
upon the Niagara River. The success of his protracted siege, 
now depended on arresting the march of D'Aubrey. 

The British force had but just been posted for the encounter 
when the French and Indians, under D'Aubrey, came down the 
river. The British out-posts fell back, and joined the main body. 
The opposing forces were now drawn up in order of battle, and 
D'Aubrey gave the order for attaciv. His western Indian allies, 
hitherto principally concealed, swarmed from the woods, and gave 
the terrif;-! war-whoop, at the same time, rushing upon the English 
hues, followed by the French troops. The British regulars, and 
such provincials as had seen little of Indian warfare, quailed for a 
moment in view of the fierce onslaught; the Iroquois and the prac- 
ticed Indian fighters, nmong both regulars and provincials, stood firm. 
In a moment, the shock was met as firmly as it had been impetu- 
ously made. Volley after volley was discharged upon the fierce 
assailants from the whole British line, and from the Indian fianking 
parties, until the Indian assailants gave way and left the field^ 
Deserted by his Indian allies, D'Aubrey bravely led on his French 
troops against the English colunm, and was pres: ing it vigorously, 
when a reinforcement of Johnson's Indians arrived tVom the trench- 
es, and assailed his fianks, and aided powerfully in turning the tide 
of battle against him. Standing firm for a short time, and return- 
mg the English and the Indian fire, he gave way and ordered a re- 
treat, which soon assumed the character of a total rout. The 
Enghsh pressed upon the vanquished and retreating French, and 
made prisoners, or shot 'down by for the larger potion of them. 
But a remnant of them escaped into an inhospitable and trackless 
wilderness. D'Aubrey and most of his principal ollicers were 
among die captives. This was the main and decisive feature of 
the protracted siege. The contest was but of short duration; but 
long enough, with the vigor and desperation with which it was 
waged, to strew the ground for miles wilh the dead bodies of the 


How vivid is the picture presented to the imagination, of this 
early scene ! It was then far, far away, in any direction, frohi the 
abode of ci vihzation. There were no spectators of that sudden clasJ. 
ofarms, of that protracted siege ; all were participants. Hundreds 
of miles beyond the heaviest sounds that like earthquake shocks 
must have gone out from the conflict, were the nearest of our race 
save those who were at Frontenac and Oswego, and the few mis- 
sionaries and traders upon our interior rivers. The outlet of vast 
inland lakes, the shores of which had been scarcely tread by Euro 
peans, hushed to comparative stillness, after having tumbled over 
the mighty precipice, and madly rushed through the long narrow 
gorge that succeeds, was rolling past, its eddies dashing heavily 
againstthc shore, moaning a requiem over the dead that were thickl'y 
strewn upon it. Death and carnage, the smoke of battle, the gleam- 
ing of steel, had chosen for their theatre a marked spot, romantic 
and beautiful as any that arrests the eye of the tourist, in that region 
of sublime and gorgeous landscapes. There was the roar of musket- 
ry, the terrible war-hoop ; the groans of the dying; the fierce assault 
and firm repulsion ; precipitate retreat, and hot and deadly pursuit • 
the red warrior loading himself, with trophies of the tomahawk and 
scalping knife, that would signalize his valor in the war dance or 
tale out his deeds of blood at a place of reward : 

"The sliout of battle, llic bail)ariim yell, the bray 
Of (lisouant iiistnimonts, the clang of ann.«, 
The shi'ieks of agony, the grouti of ilealh, 
In one wild uproar and continued din 
Shook the still air !"— Soutiiey. 

In yonder ancient structure, standing out in bold relief, solitary 
and isolated even now; was a handful of brave men, their numbers 
thinned, holding out after a long siege; encouraged by hones that 
were crushed, when their brave countrymen, deserted "by tVeacher- 
ous allies, gave way before a superior fbrce. Stretched out upon 
yonder plain, in long lines of batteries and entrenchments, were the 
besiegers, who, advancing from day to day, had approached so near 
that every shot from their heavy artillery told upon the massive 
walls they were assailing. 

It was a new scene in the wilderness; —nature in her solitudes 
and fastnesses, was affrighted; the wild beasts hurried flrrther and 
farther, into the recesses of the forest, or Imddled in their lairs 




tit ■ * < 



t.e.nblngas each successive crash came upon tlieir unaccustomed 

ears. It was a calm July morning. The surface of that wide ex- 

pause of water, smooth and unruifled, mirrored the scene of fire and 

smoke, of waving banners and advancing cohunns. Stunning and 

doafenmg came the sounds of battle ;- then a Imshed silence? as if 

war and conquest stood appalled in view of the work of death they 

had wrought ; ni which brief pause would come the roar of the 

.u.ghty cataract, rushing in as if impatient to riot in its accustomed 

monopoly of sound! The "great thunderer" was contending with 

it. first rival! over all arose the smoke of the two battle 

grounds to the clear bice heavens, and mingling there with the spray 

ot the cataract was carried ofi-by a gentle breeze ; and at the suns 

dechne, when the strife was ended, it canopied and spanned the deep 

1 '"?!'''' r "" ^°'^ ""^^ 1''''"^''^ ""'"-^ ■'' harbinger of peace. 
The French in the Fort had been close observers of every si-ni 
without, and had seen enough to make them apprehensive of the in- 
sult upon the river bank; but hours passed by before they could 
know With certainty the fate of the gallant men wh. had been 
arrested m then- march of intended relief An Indian scout gained 
access to the I- ort infonning them of Aubrey's total defeat and rout 
and ma few minutes, a British officer entered ond demanded a 
surrender accompanying the demand with an exhortation from Sir 
VV ilham Jolmson ag nst the necessity of further bloodshed, and the 
intimation that his exasperated Indian allies could not be prevented 
trom wreakiiig vengence upon the captives if the fight was furtlier 
P olonged. Captain Pouchot, with the advice and concurrence of 
of his officers, yielded to fate and necessity: and more than all, per- 
haps, to the fearful apprehension that farther doubtful resistance 
would make victims to savage warfare, of his unfortunate country- 
men and their allies. Terms of capitulation were agreed upon, hon- 
orable toboth parties ; and thus ended a well planned and Ivell con- 
ducted siege; stood out against with almost unexampled heroic 
fortitude, and thus commenced the English possession of Fort xXiag- 
ara, and dominion over all the region oi Western N^w York 

lagi?of-^;;il;;/:;i;!'^^;:riiii:r' £r.w 'h' ^^" Nin,nm Riverl-ct^roe.. tho vU- 

"Bloody Run." s ■ i ( u- h^^" '" ''^^^'Y'^' ■''''"'"■'••^ ^y l'"' "i.m,.. of 

l-arroK^,„, locks! l^J'^ls v n l^™,^:^ ^'^ i^ J 'i-^ -'^i'- ^T'T'^ ^"" 

..i the cam, and up to this i.n.i, tho p,;;:"ai;rdi^h;^i'i':.tsSr 

rnELP3 AifD goriiam's purchase. 


The terms of capitulation assented to by Sir William Johnson, 
should be added to the evidences that while he excelled in bravery 
and military foresight, a life in the wilderness, far away from the 
mcentives and examples of civilized life, had not made him insensi- 
ble to the obligations ofhumanity and courtesy. Anticipatin-r the 
bloody scenes we must yet pass through, to conduct the reader to the 
mam objects of our narrative, the wish obtrudes itself that he could 
have been spared to have exercised his vast influence in after years 
m arrestmg the tomahawk and the scalping knife. The vanquished 
were al-lowedto pass out of the Fort with the honors of war, and lay 
down then- arms. It was stipulated that the French officers and 
soldiers should be conducted to New York, where comfortable quar- 
ters should be furnished them ; that the females and children should 
have safe convoy to the nearest port of France ; and that the woun- 
ded should be taken care of, and conveyed to New York as soon 
as they were able to undertake the journey. Upon the other hand 
Oaptam Pouchot stipulaicd tiie surrender of all the stores, provisions 
and arms, with which the garrison had been well supplied. 

The French that capitulated in the fort, numbered over 600 • be- 
side them, were the prisoners taken in the battle upon the river 
Not less than ten commissioned officers were among the prisoners," 
of whom were the gallant D'Aubrey, Captain Pouchot, and two 
half-breed sons of Joncaire. In marching out and 3mbarking in 
batteux. It was with difficulty they were saved from massacre by 
the Iroquois ; and only saved by the conciliatory course of Sir 
Wilham Johnson, and the promise to his turbulent allies of a liberal 
participation m the spoils of victory ; a promise that he fulfilled.* 
In a fow days, after holding an Indian council to further promote 



A Icttor, writtou from the spot Roon nffur fho «,„-r ,„ ) 
ne*v-s],;,iH.r filos, states that tlu' i,di.,„ • i; .J ' «""r''M.Ioi. proscn-cd in some old 

.av.. iho arms a.ul a,, ■ u o„ 4 „; ? h?" ,'"•''''' ''Vk I''"'"''-''' "' f''^" ^'-'t. 

fiatola.ts,stor.Hl therefor [„, rl'nuo I'! ''';.'''■'''' '"•?" 'l"""ti'i<"* "f V^'^'nlll 

sio,.aiiy uncovered by the pio:^h:t d;;;?^::,;?^:;;;!;^-^;;;;^:;-;; -- — -ca. 

Oreat Meadows, and wo,. Idstir a^ !,' ^'^ ^ ^ "'VT '^"'i'^ "' ''"" ^''^"I'V'f^u, 
'Ic'n.ff.; (iatesand Mor^.-m we,-e at a d ek' J..':, l'^', ^ """'••" >va.s .ntTieo,,- 
ac(.rpsof J'rovincial |.".a7„a,r,s ; (le r,r 01 ' , If ",' ^^"'^ w,^ a vo„n^M,(ru-er i,, 
SKMi ain(,M- tlio I'roviiu'ials ^n the .iel ,, ' \' ,'''?' "^^"'"^■'1. 1""^' '>■ coniinis- 

ward, rendered ilhr.lrio n.'e; in i.vf "'■'''' ''""' "'^■•■^■^'■^' "thcr imn.e.s, after- 
Crown Point, Tico.uler...a:Si;I;^',;;:i'i;;;:;;;;['''^«'"'''« ^( the cauipaignH .igai„«t 



and strengthen the alliance of the Iroquois, ami detaching a suffi- 
cient force to repair and occupy the captured fort. Sir William 
Johnson, with his main force and his prisoners, departed for 


' in I • 

■ I'l 




While all this was transpiring, war was waging with equal vigor 
It not with as signal success, upon the banks of the St. Lawrence' 
and upon the Northern Lakes. On the 22d of July, the main arm; 
under General Amherst, arrived at Ticonderoga; and, opening I 
heavy fire upon the French out-posts, compelled them to retire 
vvithm the walls of the fort, leaving their heavy breast-works to 
shelter the besiegers from a brisk fire they poured out from the 
strong-hold to which they had retreated. The siege and stout re- 
sistance continued until late in the night of the 23d, when the 
l-rench, warned by the formidable preparations the besiegers were 
making, withdrew their main force to Crown Point, leaving but 
400 to mark^their retreat. Seldom, perhaps, in war's annals, has 
an unequal lorce-a handful against a powerful array -so much 
annoyed besiegers, as did these 400 gallant Frenchman, left, as it 
would almost seem, for a sacrifice. In the daikness of the night, a 
d taclunen of them went from the fort, and stealthily appro.^hed 
the Enghsh in their entrenchments; breaking them up. and for a 

entln .K T^ '"^^^^^'"S ^^y«' ^^""«yi"g the besiegers in their 

Toltt^Z 'Vr"'""' ^^-^i^ecied fire. On the night of 

he 26 h, the small force, perceiving that the English had planted 

themselves strongly within six hundred yards, of the fort -that 


ig a suffi- 


irted for 


longer resistance would be unavailing- blew up their magazines, 
fired their wooden breast-works, barracks and store-houses ; made a 
wreck of their fortress for the besiegers to occupy, and secured a 
.^afe. retreat, uninterrupted but by a pursuit across the Lake, and 
the capture of 16 of their number. At daylight, on the morning 
of the 27th, the French flag was struck down, and the En<Tlish flafr 
raised, amid smoke and flames, devastation and ruin, that Sie torch 
and lusee of the gallant, but despairing Frenchmen, had left for the 
destruction of works their valor could not save. 

The first work of Gen. Amherst was the repairing of the dilapi- 
dated fortress ; and in the mean time some naval armament was per- 
fected necessary to carrying his conquest further on, to Crown 
loint. He was soon however, informed that that post was aban- 
doned, and that the enemy had retreated to Aux Nois, at the lower 
end of Lake Champlain. On the 4th of August, he advanced with 
his mam army, to the last deserted French post. M. de Bourlema^ne, 
who commanded the French forces in that quarter, seemed govern- 
ed by the policy of retarding as far as possible, the advance of the 
l;|ngiish force, whose ultimate destination he was well aware, was 
Ciuebec; and their erran.i there, to aid the besiegers in the reduc- 
tion of that strong hold, an-l last hope, of his king and country upon 
this continent. At Aux Nois, where he had made his stand, he had 
yet an effective force of 3,500 men ; 100 pieces of cannon ; and a 
force of armed vessels, which gave him command of the Lake, 
llie Lnghsh rested at Crown Point, engaging actively however, in 
strengthening their feeble naval armament; occasionally sendincr 
out small scouting parties; and preparing i.i all things, for breaking 
up the Irench in their plan of retreat. On the 10th of Octol,ei° 
the army under Gen. Amherst were embarked, and aftor an inefl'ec' 
tua attempt to reach their destination, in consequence of Wmb winds 
and storms, were obliged to seek shelter in a bay, upon the western 
shore of the lake, and remain there for seven days. On the 18th 
the troops were again embarke.l, and after encountering another 
gale tell back to Crown Point. The season was now far^dvanced 
-lie rigors of winter, in a bleak northern region, had began seri- 
ously to impair the ability and energy of the troops. These con- 
siderations, allied to the probability that he could not reach Quebec 
until tae contest there was decided, induced Cen. Amherst to post- 
pone further olTensive operations to a more propitious season. 







:f !l 



The English squadron, destined for Quebec, had set sail about 
the middle of February. The command of this expedition was 
conferred by Mr. Pitt, upon James Wolf; the youngest man that 
had ever borne the commission of Major General in the British 
army ; yet, he was selected for by far the most difficult service that 
the war involved. The naval command was conferred upon Admiral 
feaunders The expedition arrived at Halifax, towards the close of 
the month of April. The force destined to act upon land under 
Wolf, was over 8,000. From the first landing upon the American 
coast, the British Admiral had anticipated the arrival of a convoy 
Irom France, destined for supplies and men, and had watched to in- 
tercept It, but It had eluded his vigilance and reached Quebec 

It was not until the 27th of June that the imposing force had 
reached the Island of Orleans, a few leagues below Quebec, and 
disembarke<l. A recent historian* has thus eloquently described 
the Enghsh commander's first view of Quebec, and the task that lay 
before h,m : - " Accompanied by the chief engineer. Major M Kel- 
ler, and an escort of light infantry, he pushed on to the extremity 
of the Island nearest to Quebec. A magnificent but disheartening 
scene lay before him. On the sumniit of the highest eminence ; on 
Iho s raits of the great river from whence the basin before him open- 
ed, the French flag waved. The crest of the rocky hei<dit was 
crowned with formidable works redoubted and planked. On every 
fixvorable spot, above, below, on the rugged assent, were batteries 
biistellmg with guns. This strong-hold formed the right flank of a 
position eight miles in extent ; the falls and the deep and rapid stream 
of the Montmorency, was the left. The shoals and rocks of the 
b . Lawrence protected the broad front, and the rich vallies of the 
fet. Charles, with the prosperous and beautiful villages of Charles- 
burg, an>l Beauport, gave shelter and hospitality in the rear A 
crested bmik of some height over the great river, nuarkcd the main 
hne of defences from east to west, parapets planked at everv favor- 
able spot, aided their natural strength. Crowding on this embattled 
bank, swarimngin the irregular village streets, and formed in mass- 
es on the hil s bej-ond. were 12.000 French and Canadian troops, 
led by the gallant Montcalm." 

The scenes that followed-all the details of that protracted and 


* Aiitlior of Conquest of Cuiiaila. 


eventful siege — form prominent pages in our general history. It 
would be but repeating that with which most readers are familiar, 
to give them a place in these local annals. 

The siege commenced on the 29th of June, and lasted with but 
brief intermissions, until the 18th day of September. Upon that 
memorable day the French, after a gallant resistance — a holding out 
almost unparalelled, considered in reference to time ind the fierce 
and frequent approaches they had to resist — surrendered the great 
citadel of their strength in America ; the Gibraltar upon vvhich 
they had fallen back in other days of untoward events ; the spot 
they had occupied since Champlain chose it in 1608, as the seat 
and centre of French colonization. 

The American reader has been surfeited, through English sources 
principally, with accounts of the bravery, the skill and the fortitude, 
of the besiegers and conquerors of Quebec. The story of the gal- 
lant Wolf, the mild, unassuming and amiable commander ; in whose 
character there is mixed up the finest sensibilities of our nature ; 
child like simplicity, with as stern heroism as Britain can boast in' 
her long catalogue of military conquerors ; his almost shout of tri- 
umph, when the news reached him that the enemy was vie!din<T, 
even when the film of death was upon his eyes, just as his nobfe 
spirit was about to take its flight far away from worldly conflict ; — 
has become as familiar as house-hold ^vords. But little has been 
said, or known, in our language, of the brave defenders of the be- 
sieged citadel; and of him especially, the gallant but unfortunate 
Montcalm ; whose end was as glorious as that of his conqueror ; 
though no shouts of victory cheered him upon his entrance into the' 
dark valley of death. 

A recent English historian,* has in this respect, set an example 
of magnanimity ; and to his pages are we indebted for much that is 
new m all that concerned the defence of Quebec. From the mo- 
ment the English had obtained a footing upon the Island of Orleans, 
the French commander was like a noble stag at bay. (;onfrunted 
by a powerful force, chafed and harrassed in'his preparation for de- 
fence ; distrustful as the result proved he had reason to be, of the 
courage and counsels of the Governor, Yaudreuil, who had an 
immediate command of the Canadian militia; his courage was that 

' Author of "Conquest of Cauiida," 









of desperation : - restive, impulsive, chivalric, to a fault. For<ret- 

lul of superiority of rank, he said to Vaudreuil, in reference to some 

policy he had pursued : " Vou have sold your country, but while 

1 live J will not surrender it up." Of the provincial troops, he wrote 

on the eve of battle : "My Canadians without discipline, deaf to 

the sound of the drum, and badly armed, nothing remains for them 

but to fly ; and behold me beaten without resources. But one thin.r 

I can assure you, I .shall not survive the probable loss of the colony 

There are times when a general's only resource is to die with honor ■ 

this IS such a time. No stain shall rest upon my memory. But in 

defeat and death there is consolation left. The loss of the colony 

will one day be of more value to my country, than a victory. The 

conqueror shall here find a tomb; his aggrandizement shall prove 

his ultimate ruin."* 

Never did the general of an army, or the defender of a citadel 
have more upon his hands. There was disaffection amon^r the 
mihtia to conciliate ; desertion to prevent ; a scantv and bad supply 
of provisions to obviate, with but feeble prospects of obtaining nevv 
supplies ; an unreaped harvest wasting in the fields, for the preser- 
vation of which he was obliged to spare 2,000 of his men at a crit- 
ical moment; the supply of ammunition was scanty; the vigorous 
and almost incessant prosecution of the seige, left him with little 
ot that confidence which is essential to eflicient action. His co- 
operator, and superior, (Vaudreuil,) was but a clog upon his move- 
ments. Yet he manfully and heroically contended against impend- 
ing and fearfully foreshadowed fate. lie compelled obedience to 
his orders by iron rules and summary infiictions of severe penalties • 
•nspireil l)y his determined impetuous bearing, terror, where duty 
and courage failed or flagged; moved from point to point i.suin^r 
his orders ; here to repair a breach, there to prevent desertion ; and 
there, to push forward attacking columns. 

" I am safe," said he on the 12th of September, "unless Wolf lands 
above the town." Even then, there was a movement with the Brit- 
ish force to gain the position, fn.n the possession of which he had 
impliedly foretold his ruin. 



Forge t- 
3e to some 
but while 
, he wrote, 
e, deaf to 
! for them 
one thiniT 
le colony, 
ith honor ; 
. But in 
le colony 
ry. The 
lall prove 

a citadel 
nong the 
ad supply 
ning new 
e preser- 
at a crit- 

\ith little 

His co- 
is niovc- 

lience to 
•enalties ; 
ere duty 
t issuing 
ion ; antl 

olf lands 
the Erit- 
\ he had 

.'nni : - Tf 
> imt het'ii 
^■ay to tlio 

While he was listening to the sound of cannon from an unexpec- 
ted quarter, a horseman came to him in full speed, and announced 
that the English were occupying the plains of Abraham. He 
aroused a sleeping and wearied soldiery, and by promi)t action hod 
them soon hurrying in long lines over the valley of the St. Charles 
to the battle ground. Incredulous at first, that the besiegers had 
ventured and succeeded in gaining the rugged ascent — almost be- 
lieving it a feint; — when convinced of its reality he nei'ved him- 
self for the decisive contest which he knew had come. The hour 
of conflict found him at the head of his army ; as Wolf was of his. 
Where danger was most imminent, he was to be found ; flying from 
column to column, inspiring confidence by his presence and infusing 
into his ranks, a desperate courage that England's veteran troops had 
no where before contended with. At one moment, simultaneously al- 
most, as if each charge was exploded by an electric circuit, came a 
volley from the drawn up columns of the British lines. The French 
were swept down like forest trees before a whirlwind. Upon this 
hand, fell his second in command, upon the other, one of his bravest 
generals ; the day and the battle, the citadel and an Empire was al- 
ready lost ; and yet Montcalm was undismayed. Recoiling from 
the shock, like hardened steel that has been bent almost to l)reakinrr, 
again he collected his scattered forces and presented a bold front 
to the enemy. Then came another terrible fire from the British 
lines, and with it a charge, such as has but few parallels in the his- 
tories of battles. Overcome, trampled down, yielding and flyino- in 
every direction, was the whole French force. Amid this scene of 
death and carnage, Montcalm died as he had hoped he should ; 
w}ien-h& could no longer resist the march of the invader. He fell 
mortally wounded at the head of his troops, that he was in vain at- 
tempting to rally and make stand firm, in the face of a fire and a 
charge, incessant and desperate. When the surgeon had examined 
his wound, he told him it was mortal. " I am glad of it," said he, 
" how long can I survive ? " " Perhaps a day, perhaps less," was 
the reply of the surgeon. " So much the better," replied Montcalm, 
" I shall not live to see the surrender of Quebec." It is given on 
the atuhority of a British officer, who was present at the siege of 
Quebec, that Montcalm, in his last moments, paid a high compliment 
to his Conquerors; and at the same time bitterly reflected upon his 
own troops. That he said : " If I could survive tiiis wound, I would 









engage to beat tliree times the number of sueh forees as I commnn- 
ded th,s mornmg with a third of their number of British troop, 

on 'h B °iJ tie '""";"""■ ••">■' "« g""' -=.'0 mounted up. 
besil'ed c tv . , rf- ''""'^' '° "■'"" " "'■••• """^ <^™'' from the 

befo^ the fex. l: •:" '° r''°"""' '^ "° -■"'■--ment, 
'^^ moining. This was in anticipation of the arrival 
me^Ti^^^ ^-Tf-o- Montreal that had been ordered d vv^ Tl 

arC J^d?D;n ''',? T""'' '"-^"^ ^'^'^'- «^' ^he French 

The'; "ttd^ PoT""'''^' ^ f ^''^'^ ^-'^ P-t«d at another point. 
1 ney letned t^ Port aux Trembles. When the Governor of Mon 
treal came down and joined them, it was agreed to send encour"" words to M. de Ramsay, the Governor of Quebec urZl" 
o hold out against the siege. The courier reacheVte£:i ty 

The English army took possession of Quebec, and the French 
anny retn-ed to Three Rivers and Montreal. Thus ended h 
campaign m that quarter, for the season of 1759. It re7u ti had 
been the conquest of Quebec. Crown Point, Ticondero! a,td 
Niagara. Occupying these vantage grounds, the Englisl - ." 
well be supposed to I,ave surmounted the most formidabk. b n- rs 
against the complete success of the campaign; yet. on he parof 
he French colonists, the stake they were co1.t;r^iin;fo w'as Jo 
large - the issue was too momentous _ to admit of entire un ender 
as long as there was the least chance of winning '"'^"' 

M. de Levi, the Governor of Montreal, had succeeded Montcalm 
as commander- n-chief TIip F,-o,.^i . • ^"''" ^'^""^^^"^ 

1750 'fin h.A u . ^"^'' ^™>'' ^"'^"g the winter of 

!!::!l!!:J:1!!!!^!^^ '^^^'' -^^ - i^rge 

o„8 cn,.„,y m tl.o open fidtl. T,, aav fo h '"? 'l^'';;'""ncHl lo meet ]iis danger- 
Wc. Jlatl tlio French Cener'il tl n t, ■ ' '^■'^f''""-''"'<'i'7 msulutwn, is inipossi- 

dofietlhis assailants fnmi be LZ ..,'''"'';'* "•',^;' '^."'■^«<^' '^« ""ffl't J'a™ ^Ju^ly 
short tinte belbre, he l,a,l i w ,M ; " "/'i'"'; *''^ '""^?"' ^'■"™ ^1^^'"' ^^^^'ay. l^ut a 
lintish army in a ,r,„eral en^^^j ^ "^'it^': rT'''"''-'!f '"V""''' ""^f='- ^''^ 
in(lofal,.rable enemy had been^h Su.u eve^^. I 7'-'" ^'"'^ "" »''^' ««'"-•<« "f l"s 
terms: antl yet, at leni,nh, ,.„ an me l- in V'\ '''''^' "" "" "^■^'"" >'I""' ■''"}- 
unaided by any advan(a«o of i.os fi L ' , "' ". " '',","" '^■'"^■"'- *"■• '"'^ ''"-'iH'^rv, 
veterans of Kntrlantl. Once a do I ^'•' /'".''^^' f'"' '■"^''^ Cana.lian militia ai^ainst flie 
«iis gallant Frt:?,eh,„an fb.Sl hi w stLn? •^'' n • '''-^'''^"^ ^""^ '"'"^f""^'^ '^•'^■"r S 
dous en'or led him to defeat and d,tu' * '"''""'"^ ''''"' ^"^ '^''^^ one tremeu 


W ' I 




y o{ Indians. In April, as soon as the ur 



cr portion of the St. 
he transportation of 
nis artillery, Heavy baggage, and nnilitary stores, M. de Levi re- 
solved upon a descent and an attempt to re-conquer Quebec. It 
was a rash attempt, but he relied much upon the eflects a cold win- 
ter had had in reducing and enfeebling the British force, that had 
been lelt at Quebec ; and in fact, shut up as they had been, but 
scantily supplied with salt provisions, death and disability had fear- 
^ully thinned their ranks. The defence had devolved upon Gen. 
Murray. On the morning of the 27th of .April, M. de Levi had 
posted his strong force within three miles of Quebec. The British 
General, fully aware that investment, for any considerable period, in 
the condition of his army, would be equally as fatal as defeat 're- 
solved to follow the example of Montcalm. His unequal force was 
marched out, and an attack commenced. After a desperate fight, 
and the loss, in killed and wounded, of nearly one-third of his army 
he retired within the walls. U. de Levi followed up his success,' 
approaching and strongly entrenching ; the lost citadel was apparent- 
ly w'thin his grasp, when a small, but efficient English fleet came 
up the St. Lawrence, and made quick work in destroying and cap- 
turuig the whole French armament ; a new spirit was infused in the 
English camp; and M. de Levi, with hopes so suddenly crushed, 
made a hasty retreat at the sacrifice of his guns, amunition, stores, 
and entrenching tools. Thus ended an expedition that the chagrined 
Canadians stigmatized as "de Levi's folly." 

On his way to Niagara, Prideux had left Col. Haldimand in com- 
mand at Oswego. On the 4th of July, the fort was besieged by a 
large force of Canadian militia and Indians, under the command of 
M. de la Corne. A surprise was attempted and failed, the garrison, 
being forewarned, was ready for their reception, and opened a fire 
upon the besiegers, which compelled a dispersion. An attempt to 
burn the English boats in the harbor failed, and the besiegers re- 
crossed the Lake. 

The English opened the campaign in 1760, to complete their con- 
quest. Early in May, Gen. Amherst had collected a large force rt 
Oswego. Two armed vessels succeeded in forcing all the French 
armament upon the Lake to take refuge among the " Thousand 
Isles.'' The army at Oswego consisted of over 10.000; allied to 
which, were 700 Indians that Sir William Johnson had brou.dit into 




Iheficld The mam army under Gen. Amherst, went down the 
Lake, and the St. Lawrence; a detachment under Co!. Ilaviland 
gomg via Lake Champlain to Crown Point, to be joined by the force 
stationed there The first point of attack was the small garrison 
upon Isle Royal, commanded by captain Pouchot. That surrender- 
ed after a spirited resistance. Here the Indian allies mostly deser- 
ted, or marched offin a body, chagrined at Amherst and Johnson's 
refusal to allow them to massacre the whole French garrison as 
they had intended. After a perilous passage down the St. Lawrence 
in which 80 men and (50 boats were lost, Amherst's army landed 
nine nnles from Montreal on the 0th of Septemb.^r. Murray, with 
all his disposable force, had left Quebec and sailed up the St. Law- 
rence on the 14th of June. As an evidence how strong was vet 
the attachment of the Canadians to the French interests -even in 
this hour where there was little hope, it is mentioned that Murrav's 
orce was constantly annoyed by guerrilla attacks from the banks 'of 
the nver as they ascended. After a slow passage, delayed in expect- 
ation of being joined by fresh troops from England, the squadron 
reached the Island of Montreal on the 7th of September, and were 
disembarked. Col. Ilaviland having come dovn. Lake Cham^ aTn 
cap tui.d the post at Isle Aux Nois, to which the French had re-' 

iTo^ T'i;f"'V^' ^''^''''' ^^^^^^"' ^^« "«^r ^' hand, and 
reached the Island on the 8th. 

Under Amherst, Murray and Ilaviland, there was now an 

English force o 10,000 elTective troops. With but little delay, in 

ZZ^ir r] f "" army of besiegers, M de Vaudreuil surivn- 

ered Montreal and signed articles of capitulation, which included. 

cair^ r;; ' """''"''" ^''' ^'°''^' '""^ ^^ ^'^« extent of the French 
ciaima at tlae west. 

If any thing excused the French Governor. Vaudreuil. for so sud- 
den a surrender, it was the favorable terms he exacted from the be- ' 
H-egers, which were conceded to, as a better alternative, than the 
hedding of more blood, of which the banks of the St. Lawrence, 
and the shoi-es of the Lakes, had seen enough to satiate the 
most morbid desire for human sacrifice, in the respective countries 
to the thousands of victims owed allegiance. The foreign 
French troops; the civil officers, their families and bar^.a^e -were 
to be sent home in English vessels; the troops under p^^oL^to' serve 
no more durmg the war. The militia were allowed to return to 


their homes. The French colonists were to enjoy the same privi- 
eges ami unmunities as British subjects. The Indians that had ad- 
hered to the Lrench interests, were to be unmolested, and disturbed 
m no rii,rht they had enjoyed under French dominion 

Thus terminated French dominion uj.on this continent, which 
had existed lor a century and a half. IIovv badly was all that time 
improved ! Tbe sympathies which are naturally excited by a peru- 
sal of all the details of the fmal contest ; the mislortunes and casual- 
ties^we may well call then,, that one after another baflled the arms 
of France, and paralize.l the arms of as brave men as were ever 
tramed in her armies; shutting them up in fortresses; closincr the 
avenues by which succor could reach them, with ice and snow, or 
adverse wmds; cutting ofT reinforcements in their march of relief- 
disease prostrating them, and famine staring them in the face, while 
hos s of armed men were thundering at their gates, and their stron.^ 
walls were swaying and trembling over their heads; are in a mea! 
sure abated by the reflection, that they so long held dominion over 
as hne a region as arms ever conquered, or enterprise ever reach- 
ed, and were so unmindful of the value of their possession. An 
occupancy of five generations, and how little did it leave behind of 
nsjpress ! How little was done for France ! how little for man- 

There was in Canada, (East,) the two considerable cities of 
Quebec and Montreal, and a few small villages upon the St. Law- 
rence. In their vicinities, upon the most favorable soils, there was 
an agricultural population, but little more than supplying their own 
food In Canada, (West,) but a small garrison at Frontenac, (Kin^s- 
ton) with a little agricultural improvement in its immediate neigh- 
borhood; a small trading station at Toronto ; and a few missionary 
and trading stations in the interior, and upon Lake Huron. In 
western New York, the valley of the Lakes, and the upper vallies 
of the Mississippi, over all of which the French claimed dominion 
here was but Ibr trading and missionary stations ; with few except 
t.ons of agricultural enterprise ; by far the most considerable of 
which, was upon a narr nv strip upon the Detroit river 

There is much that is ad.nm-able in the French Missionary enter- 
pnze m all the region they occupied. The world has no where 
seen as much of devotion, of self-sacrifice, of courage, perseverance 
and endurance. A host ot gifted men who had left the highest 



iUicj. 1. 


walks of civilization and refinement, which they had helped to 
adorn, took up their abode in the wilderness, in rude huts ; here and 
there, upon the banks of lakes and rivers, where there were none 
of even the foot prints of civilization, save their own. Solitarv and 
alone, they wrestled with the rude savage ; displayed the ^-oss. 
the emblem of salvation, to his wondering gaze, and disarmed his 
fierce resentments by mild persuasion ; adapting themselves to his 
condition, and inducting him into the sublime mysteries of a re- 
ligion of peace and universal brotherhood. Each missionary was 
a wanderer: -ice, snow, swollen streams, winds and tempests, 
summer s heats and winter's chills, were to him no hindrances, when 
duty and devotion urged him onward. Inured to toil and priva- 
tion a small parcel of parched corn and a bit of jerked beef, would 
be hKs on y sustenance in long journeys through the forests, seeking 
new fields of missionary labor. Olten were they martyrs - there 
are few localities in all the vast region they traversed, where one or 
more of them dd not yield up his life as an earnest of his faith _ 
As often as they perished by the tomahawk, the rigors of the cli- 
mate, exposure, fatigue or disease, their ranks were supplied. Like 
disciplined soldiers, the Jesuit missionaries, one after another, would 
Wl ranks, the vacancy of which would admonish them of danger 
_ And where are now the evidences of all these lang years of mis- 
sionary enterprize, zeal and martyrdom ? In the small villages of 
Western New York, which now contain remnants of the once 
powerful Iroquois, there is the form of the cross in tlieir silver or- 
naments, and around the western Lakes and Rivers, the traveller 

TZr T, h" T ''"'' ^'^^^^^^^"^^"y' ^ ™de cross, over an Indian 

grave. This is all that is left, save written records, to remind us of 
that extraordinary, long continued, missionary advent. All else 
faded away with the decline of French power. The good mission- 

mould of the forests he had penetrated, or relire,. when the fla. of 
his country no longer gave him confidence and protection. The 
treaty 17G3 forbid any recruits of his order.' In his absence, 
his simple neophytes soon forgot his teachings. The symbols of 
his f^aith no longer reminded them of the "glad tidings" he had 
proclaimed. Tradition even of his presence, has become obscure 
_ iNever perhaps, was rejoicing in England, as universal and enthu- 
siastic, as when the news of the conquest of Quebec _fh. onn- 



quest of Canada as it was rightly construed _ reached there 

sessions had been rmsed ; and hatred of the French had become a 

umversal pubhc senthnent. A scries of defeats and ,ZoZ^ 

hat had prevtously attended the British anns in this quart..,. „ "he 

war then was„ng, had disposed the people of England to , ak" the 

was p,oeIa,med, pageants upon land and water succeeded with 
bonfires and tllutrnnaticrs. The victory was the thenre o the Zt 

was m:^*^°' ^ r' "'"' "'^'"»^^^- M'"8led with alHlS 
was mouimng for the brave men that had perished in the lon^r -uc 
oess,o„ of conflicts, or rather the reverse of the pictl w^ he 
futleral pageant, the widow's and the orphan's tears, t earths 
made desolate. When .he remains of the lamented V. „i, w re 
earned home and conveyed to Greenwich eemetry, there wa a 

EtZdher''"'"""'"'" '■" "" ""'''""■•" i"'-''- ^-l^"' ' ' °v- 
cmpne, and the triumph of its armies 

We know how ,vell it is ordered 'for us, as individual, that a 
curtain is drawn between the present and tlie future; that ou pi 
en happmess is unalloyed by any taste of the hiUe i,-ntZ!Z 
eoncealed even ,„ the cup of bliss. So with nations, if fh y „u d 
always see the tendency and the end of events, the e won d have 

a pldleTE'T";'" r '"^ '"""""'^ °f --• H-v wold ha™ 
app. lied England , how would her Kin;;, her Statesmen, sittinc u„! 

t "'".'"l^'"l/'-'=l'0». o-- holding saturnalias at festive boards liave 

u : tu ;: 11""' 'i^r^"' "■ ^""•^ P'-^'-'- "and had ilscriS 
upon^then walls:-" You have „A,»En a P»ov,»cn a»„ lost a» 

And such was the destiny ;_ crowding into a brief space the 
cause and the eff-ect, the triumph and its consequences riitted 

have been, at the commencement of the Revolution, in the absence 
of tie apprenticeship in the trade of war, that the last French and 
E, g sh war upon t is continent aff-orded. What better discipitne 
could men have had ; what better experience, to inure them t^toil 

SLf P^^^ \ :; J ^^f'-^: Q-hcc, Montreal, 
lu i^ia^a.a. i.veiy cuiDpaign svas a school far 



better than West Point and Annapolis. Mingled in all these were 
the colonists of Wew York and New England". New Jersey, Penn- 
sylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Out of the ranks of those retir^-d, came a host of the efficient men, who, upon thebreakin-out 
of tne Revolution, so well convinced their militarv instructors of 
the proficiency they had made under their tuition." The military 
skill and genius necessary to organize armies, the courage and chi^-- 
alry necessary to lead them to triumph, which had been inert, was 
aroused in the stirring scenes of the French war; its succession 
of splendid triumphs. England had made war a profession with a 
large number of the colonists, little thinking where would be the 
field and what the occasion of its practice. In the prosecution of 
the French war, England had fearfully augmented its public debt; 
in an hour of evil councils, against the protestations of her wisest 
statesmen, taxation of the colonies was added to the burthens the 
privations and sufferings that had borne so heavily upon tliem 
And It may be added, that a handful of feeble colonies would hardly 
have ventured to strike a blow for separation, as long as the French 
held dominion here. Independence achieved, the colonies would 
necessarily have had to assume the relative condition that England 
bore with France. They would have assumed England's quarrels 
growing out of unsettled boundaries and disputed dominions 

Had there been no English conquest of French dominions, the 
separation of the colonies, if realized at all, would have been an 
event far removed from the period in which it was consummated. 
France surrendered her splendid possessions in America, sullenly 
and grudgingly, yielded to destiny and a succession of untoward 
events, hoping for some event -some "tide in the affairs of men " 
that would wrest from England's Crown the bright jewel she had 
picked up on the banks of the St. Lawrence, bathed in blood ; and 
which she was displaying with a provoking air of triumph It 
came more speedily than the keenest eye of prophecy could have 
orescen^ In a little more than twenty years after the fall of Que- 
bec, La Fayette, Rochambeau, Chastelleux, D'Estang, M. de Choisv 
Viomen.l, de Grasse, M. de St. Simon, and a host of gallant French- 
men beside, saw the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown • -.n 
event as crowning and decisive, in the loss of an empire, as' was 
the surrender of Quebec, in the loss of a colony. 





From the end of French dominion in Western New York, to 
the close of the Revokition, constituted a period of twenty-four 
years ; the events of which, having an immediate bearing upon our 
local region, must be crowded into a space too limited lor elaborate 
detail; allowing of but little more than what is necessary to pre- 
vent a break in the chain of events that leads us to the" main de- 
sign of the work in hand. 

Little of historical interest occurred previous to the Revolution. 
The English would seem to have made nu belter use of the rich 
prize that the fortunes of war had thrown into their hands, than had 
their French predecessors. Settlements made the advance of but 
a day's walk, and occupancy in any form, west of the lower valley 
of the Mohawk, was but the fortresses of Oswego and Niagara, and 
small English trading establishments, that had succeeded those of 
the French. The rich soil, that has made this region the prosper- 
ous home of hundreds of thousands ; in which lay dormant the 
elements of more enduring wealth than would have been the rich- 
est " placers " of California, had no attractions for their ndventur- 
ers, and were without the narrow circle of enterprize that bound- 
ed the views of colonial governors and legislators. 

The change of occupants does not seem to have pleased the 
Senecas. Scarcely had the English got a Jbotl.old in their coun- 
ty, before a war was commenced by an attack upon a British 
wagon-train and its guard, as they were passing over the Portage 
from Lewiston to Schlosser. A tragical event that has much 
prominence in the local reminiscences of that region. This was 
followed by an attack upon a detachment of British soldiers at 
Black Rock, on their way from Niagara to Detroit. Sir William 
Johnson, in his official correspondence, called the Senecas a "trou- 
blesome people."' 



All of Engish dominion west of Albany, other than its military 
posts was a 'one manpower;" and before proceeding forther ft 

.tied;, mcidentaljy, been introduced in our narrative. 


He was a native of Ireland, of a good family, and was well edu- 
cated. Soon after he became of age, in 1737 or '8, he came to 
America as the land agent of his uncle, Sir Peter Warren, an Ad- 
minil in the English navy, who had acquired a considerable tract of 
and upon the Mohawk, in the present county of Montgomerv He 
located a few miles from the present village of Port Jackson Of a 
romantic disposition, and liaving acquired, from the unsuccessful 
ternaina ion of a love affair in hi. native country, some distaste for 
civilized society, which he was well qualified to adorn, he had not 
been long a resident in the backwoods of America, when he had 
determined upon permament settlement. He formed an exception 
to a arge majority of his countymen, in the ease and facility with 
vvhich he exchanged the refinements of civilized society for life in 
the woods, with few but the native Indians for neighbors or associ- 
ates. JNo Frenchman ever sit himself down upon the borders of 
our western lakes, alone of all his race, in the midst of Indian wig- 
wam., and sooner merged and blended himself with all about him 
?>ays the London Gentlemnn's Magazine, (1755) :- "Besides his 
skill and experience as an officer, he is particularly happy in making 
himself beloved by all sorts of people, and can conform to all com 
pames and conversations. He is very much the fine gentleman in 
genteel company. But as the inhabitants next to him are mostly 
uutch he sits down with them and smokes his tobacco, drinks flip 
and talks of improvements, bear and beaver skins. Being surround- 
ed^^.lth Indians he speaks several of their languages well, and has 
a wa>. some of them with him. He takes care of their wives and 
old lnd.ans when they go out on parties, and even wears their 
niess. m short, by his honest dealings with them in trade, and his 
courage, wh'.ch has often been successfully tried with them, and his 
courteous behavior, he has so endeared himself to them, that they 
chose him one of their chief Sachems, or Princes, and esteem him 
as their father. 


He was just the man the English government required in the 
contest they were waging with the French; and he had not been 
long m the Mohawk valley, before he became its Indian a-nt and 
the dispenser of its gifts, which added to his personal popularity 
with the Indians, gave him an influence over them greater than 
any one of our own race has ever possessed. He was the first 
Englishman to contend, with any great measure of success, with 
French Indian diplomacy; their governors, missionaries and tra- 

On the breaking out of the last English and French war upon 
this continent, he was made a General of colonial militia, and by 
virtue of a leadersliip that had been created by the Iroquois, he was 
head warrior of all of them that inclined to the English interests. 
His first military service, was to head the formidable expedition 
against Crown Point, in which he was the vanquisher of the Baron 
Dieskeu. For this signal service, he was made a Baronet The 
other prominent event in his military career, was the siege and con- 
quest of Fort Niagara, which mainly devolved upon him, by the 
death of his superior in command. Gen. Prideaux. 

The gifts of his sovereign, and the facilities he enjoved for pur- 
chasing Indian lands, made him the possessor of great wealth, which, 
with his military honors, the partiality of his countrymen, and his 
great influence with the Indians, rendered him as near a Prince as 
any thing the backwoods of America have witnessed. * 

After the close of tlie French war, as a British agent, he held 
treaties and negotiated with the Iroquois, and some of^he western 
, nations, all of the territorial acquisitions in middle New York north- 
ern Pennsylvania, and upon the Ohio River, that was made pre- 

«n ft-r-ir .' ':^ * 

• f I 1 ,"•'" '^'"'>' ^''''■'' "•' liberally entortjiinod by Sir William and 500 

un American Lady ■' ^ ^ "''^^^^8^° them valuablo ox A<^mM^: '- Memoir, of 




vious to tlie Revolution. To his influence with the Indians as a 
British agent, mhented by his family, may be attributed in a great 

ZZl h7:n "T' '" ^'""^ ^^"•^"Shout the Revolulon ; 
and yet had he hved when the contest was waged, it is doubtfu 
what would have been his position. There areVong reason for 
assumn^g that he would have been at least a neutral. He died at 
JohnsonHallm June, 1774, just as the storm was gathering, soon 
after he had himself predicted that " En'gland and her colonie; were 
approaching a terrible war, which he should never live to witness." 
tils health had been for some years declining * 

In his youth, soon after he became a resident upon the Mohawk 
hetook for his wiie, (conventionally,) a comely, German girl, 2. 
being a redemptionist, was serving her time with one of his nLlbors 
She was the mother of his son and successor, Sir John Johnson" 
and of his daughters, who became the wives of Col. Claus, and Col' 
Guy Johnson, a distant relative of Sir William. A lecral marria™ 
ook p, when Sir ^yI]liam was on his death bed, whicii cremof: 
had reference to the descent of property. And here it would b'e 
historical dehnquency to conceal the fact, that Sir William, awav 
from th^ restraints of civilized life, had indulged in what M Ban 
croft would call the <• freedom of the backwoods." Ebeneze Allan' 
who was at one period, in the valley of the Genesee, "L^S": 
William was m the valley of the Mohawk, without taking his many 
yiitues as his examples, was but an humble imitator of his one pr J- 
mentv.ce. The fruits of his amours may be traced at this d'^t 
a 1 the re reats of the remnants of the Six nations. Upon tii. banks 
of the Allegany, the observing traveller will recognize the family 
resemblance in the contour of faces; the " blood cJ the Johnsons '' 
ouoL""%'h' ^f ' 'A^ harmoniously blending with that of the Ir;. 
quois. The sister of Joseph Brant, in some respects as good a speci- 
men of her race as was her renowned brother, was the mother of 
several of his children who were also legitimatized by a private 
marriage that took place a l■o^v years before his death 

Histories of the Revolution exist in too many forms, are too 
easily accessib^ ^todlclasses of readers, to make it necessary to em! 

* DocuiiicntniT History Vol o,i ,, O'-.? • n ,i r» x ^ ." T ~ ~~ 



brace even any considerable allusion to it in a work of this character. 
All ofit that has any more than a remote connection with the his-' 
tory of our local region, are the Border Wars of New Vork and 
with them the author will assume that his readers are " generallv 

On the death of Sir William Johnson, his son, John Johnson, suc- 
ceeded to his titles and estates, and his ofHcer of General Superin- 
tendent of Indian Aflairs fell into the hands of Col. Guy Johnson 
his son-in-law, who had as his deputy Col. Claus, another son-in' 
aw. Thus inherited, all the official and personal influence that had 
been acquired ^vas wielded against the Colon^ . and in favor of the 
mother country. The natives unschooled in all that could enable 
them to understand the merits of the quarrel -(Iiemsflvcs recog- 
nizing in their simple form of government heriditary rulers -could 
see in the up rising of the Colonies against their i^ing, little else thnn 
unjustiflable rebellion, and they were told by the Johnsons that the 
outbreaKs in Boston, and the battle of Lexington, were the acts of 
disobedient children against the King their Father, who had been 
kmd to them as he had to the Six Nations. Sir William Johnson had 
been the almoner ofannual gilts from his sovereign, and minglino- a 
smcei-c regard for them, with his official duties, had wedded them 
strongly to him and to his government. 

ri°''ltn'^''^'x^''' ^"^^^"' Thay-en-da-ga,) had been the protege 
of Sir WiUiam Johnson. When quite a youth he had sent him to 
the Kev. Dr. Wheelock's school in Lebanon, Connecticut, after- 
wards employed him in his private business. * Engaged in military 
service, when he took the field, the young chief took the war path, 
one of the leaders of Sir William's Indian allies. Under these cir- 
cmnstances It was very natural that Brant should have been found 
a follower of the fortunes of the Johnson family. 

With those influences bearing upon them, the Six Nations, with 

river, l,is piuvnlj av ? ;; S ""^^^ ^''"^ ^^^^'^>^ '^ jVIol.nvk, iK.rn .m th. Ohio i. all it. .^uiou. of ulelLiL^^i^: S^eSJS J^ ^^^ 




a l,cs 01 Lnsiand throughout the war of tho Revolution Immerfi 

' ::;':. hf °' '' '?"'™' «"^ •"■^-°" renewi "I : 
ces and as host.hties approached tho Mohawk valley, ■■ brightened 

the Cham oflnendship" with gift., „„d lavish promiseJof i^crea"cd 
patronage from hi, master, the King. A "committee o™,;- 
wh,ch was early organized in " Tryon county," were iealou of 
every movement of the Johnson, and especiall/ihose of G John- 
son. It would seem, m fact, that he had at f.rst'ra.hly determined to 
mam am h,s ground, and, for that purpose, under prete e o e 
of attack from "the rebels," had fortified his hotse and dra™ 

auxniary to the central committee at Albany. Thev made re-,ons to the Albany committee of all 'that dZZZ 

tht'::; "'.?"': ^"""'""'f-""^" ««'» and ,he hostUe-mdC 
they say.- We are, gentlemen, in a worse situation than any par 
of Amenca at present. We have an open enemy before our faces 
and a treacherous enemy at our backs." Thev assure the Alba, y 

■^rSC ' '' r"' "-•'^--"'™' •" 'hi acts of Parltmrn^ 
1101 Lol. Johnson s arbitrary conduct." 

A series of stirring local events followed : - The Johnson fmilv 
c^ob; dhed in interest and ft-iendship with other infliiZl t^^ 
hesof Tryon couMy, not only controlled the Indians, hut had .uch 
an influence with the whites as almost to enable th^ni to co"c 
oca obedience to them, and fealty to the King. They even 

U.c^ ancl partial were successfbl, in using tl^ civil .L W 

or ho instances ,n breaking up what they termed "rebel n-e^tin^s " 
-Laily HI the summer of 1775 however, Guv .Tohnson had deter- 
mined that his own safety and the interests of'his Kin., won d b^h 
be promoted by removal to Canada. Up to this time, lie had . .lie 

"27" h-V" -r'"^'---T movements were init temp r y 
outbieaks, which would be suppressed bv the strong arn/of his 
govemment, or conciliated by a redress ol^' son,e of the -n-ievanc s 
complained of. But admonished by the dark clouds of^v ha 
ere gathenng, that the crisis had arrived, that he could not preserve 
uhere he was with safety, a position even of neutrality, he resolved 
upon placmg himself in a position to take an active part in the coa- 


n-e the firm 
wcd allian- 
' increased 
of safety," 
jealous of 
Guy John - 
M-mined to 
ce of fear 
id drawn 
s alarnaed 
ganized as 
made re- 
goin,2; on, 
e Indians, 
I any part 
our faces, 
c Albany 

3n family 
tial fami- 
Iiad such 

ley even 

1 authori- 
ng in one 
id deter- 
)u]d both 
;id iolied 
n of liis 
lar that 
ihe con- 



test. Under the pretence that he could better control the Indians 
and keep them from harming the inhabitants by fixin^ his head-' 
quarters at Fort Stanwix, he left "Guy Park" and repaired to that 
post, where he was soon joined by John and Walter Butler Brant 
and a formidable body of Tories and Indians. He soon removed 
with most ot his retinue to Oswen-o. 

It should here be observed, that inured to war as had been the 
Iroquois -fond of it as would seem fromthe avidity with which 
they had engaged in it with their own race and ours — the breaking 
out of the Revolution, found them with somewhat altered inclinat 
tions. Vastly reduced by wars with the southern and western 
Jnduns, and with the French, the remnant of them that had enjoy- 
ed a few years of peace had learned in some degree to estimate its 
value. Fully realizmg the consequences, should thev take up the 
hatchet for the King, the local committees of safetv for Tryon and 
Albany counties, heM conferences with the Mohawks and received 
assurances of neutrality. In June, 1776, General Schuyler, appoint- 
ed for that purpose by the Congress at Philadelphia, held a council 
with all of the Six Nations upon the German Flats, where assur- 
ances of neutrality were renewed. But the superior influences that 
have been spoken of, finally prevailed. 

Guy Johnson soon repaired to Montreal, where he made his 
head quarter.;, and engaged with zeal and activity, in enlisting the 
Indians m a harrassing border war, chiefly directed against Ids old 
neighbors. Sir John Johnson, previous to the flight, or he-ira of 
his brother-in-law, had stipulated with Gen. Schuvler that he would 
remain and be a neutral, the chief motive being the preservation of 
the vast estate he. had inherited ; but encouraged bv the prospect of 
a final triumph of the King over the colonics, lie followed his incli- 
nations, violated his pledges of neutrality, and taking with him 
three hundred of his neighbors and dependents, (chiefly Scotch,) 
loincd his brother in Montreal, and became like him an active par- 
tisan The immediate presence of the powerful family was thus 
withdrawn from the Mohawk, and little left of them but their deser- 
ted f^ields and mansions; but the devoted valley had yet to feel the 
terrible scourge which loyalty could inflict, when sharpened by mo- 
tives ot ])rivate vengeance. 

Col. John Butler soon fivred his residence on the shores of Lake 
Untario, ni the immediate vicinity of the village of Niagara, where 






he ,™ .oon installed as the leader of the torv refugees. Erectine' 

tt salM 7- ' "'Sf'^'^^J""'! quavered; and from that |,oint 
hlk ri '"'"•■"\"'''"S -Podi'w"' to the valli,»- ol the Mo. 

hey relumed when their errands of ml^diief had been executed 
(was there the expeditions to the devolod valley of Wyomin-- and 

to arres the mareh of Sullivan, were projected. ° 

After leaving the JMohawk valley, Brant was alternately at Oswego 

A-gam upon the Susquehannah and Genesee Rivers' until Sy 

at uld Ih' n.^""; '"^. W'=™"»<= with an armed band of warriors 
at Unadilla, an village upon the Susquehannah. There Gen 
Herknner, with a strong guard of Tryon county militia sou4t an 
|".e,-v,ew with him. in hopes of changing his purpos ^l eng li ^ 
n the Kmg s servtce. They met. Bran.rather'ha,!ghtilydema,rde3 
he object of the mterview. which ,vas explained. Hinting to Gen 
Herknner that h.s attendants were pretty numerous for a peac: 
a.nbassador he assured hi.n that he Itad a superior force, fiv llZ7d 
varnors winch he could crush him and his part^ a, a "o d 
bu sa,d he, "we are old neighbors and friends and I w'll no" dot " 
A ot.headed and .mprtjdent Coi. Cox, who had accompanied Gen. 
Iletknner, grossly tnsulted lirant, which came near bringing on an 
unequal contest, bu, Brant hushed the impending storm and prnLed 
another tntervew. It was had according to promise ; Brant a u,. 
cd the General that he fully understood his enand ; "but" sa d h 
you are too late, I am already engaged to serve the King. We 

Ls ed. although you are entn-ely within my power." This was the 
last conference held by the agents of Congress with the Man 
pendM,gordu„ng,hewarof the;; and after thi . ton 

lollowed the tern be scenes with vvl„V.' fi.^ .i 

reader to be famih-ar. ^^^^h vvhicu the author presumes the 

Imrnecliately following this interview with Brant, Sir John John- 
son and Col. Water Butler sent out runners and convened dele' - 
tions rom all of the Six Nations at Oswego. The counci w 's 
open by a speech fro. Sir John, in' which L assured thc^Ind;::: 
hat then- assistance was wanted "to subdue the rebels who Imd 
taken up anns a, their good Father the King, and was about 
to rob him of a great part of iiis possessions and wealth." Tiau 




chiefs then rose and severally assured the British agents that they 
had only one year before in council with General Schuyler, pledcred 
themselves to neutrality, and that they should not violate the pledge 
by taking up the hatchet. The British agents told them that the 
rebels were few in number and easily subdued, and that on ac- 
count of tneir disobedience they fully merited all the punishment that 
white men and Indians united could inflict ; that the Km<r was rich 
and powerful, botn In money and subjects; that his "vim was as 
plenty as the waters of Lake Ontario." This appeal to the appetites 
of the simple nafves which British agents had done much before to 
vitiate, accompanied by promises of rich gifts, prevailed, and a treaty 
was made in which they pledge themselves to take up arms a^rainst 
the rebels, and continue in service during the war. " Upon the con- 
elusion of the treaty, each Indian was presented with a suit of clothes 
a brass kettle, a gun, a tomahawk, a scalping knife, a quantity of 
powder and lead, and a piece of gold." * 

_ In the speech of Cornplanter to the Governor cf Pennsylvania 
in 1822, he said : - " The cause of Indians having been led into sin 
at that time, was, that many of them were in the practice of drink- 
ing and getting intoxicated.' Great Britain requested us to ioin 
hem m the conflict against Americans, and promised the Indians 
land and liquor. 

Soon after the war commenced, Brant collected the Mohawks at 
Lewiston, selecting for their home some of the fine grounds on the 
Kidge Road, near the present village. He built a small lo- church 
using the bell of one of the Indian churches upon the Mohawk 
which was hung upon the notch of a tree, the British chaplain at 
J^ort Niagara, frequently holding service there. After the Revolu- 
tion, he removed to Brantford, C. W., where large c^rants of land 
were secured to him by the British government. He died in 1807 
aged 64 years. ' 

Col. John Butler, who was respectably connected upon the Mo- 
hawk, became, from the first breaking out of the Revolution, a 

* Life of Mary Jemison. 
them « scou^ to bordtr sottte „f N.» iVk a'di'^Sitolta ' '""'" 

I ■ X 



s on that he had a good share of business talents. At the close of 
the Revo ut.on he becan.o Superintendent of Indian afK irs fo^^^Un 
per Canada and was also a half-pay British Colonel. T e p tron' 
age of a he had served so devotedly at the s.crifico of th 
private esteem of even those who had been hi. .. ^ 

enabled him to surround himself v^ .] "^P^^'^"-'^ ^"«™s, 

the In vnrir.« nC I,T Ti u ' '''^ Comforts and many of 

the luxu nes of hfe The home of which he was the founder even 
now n. us neglected condition, exhibits in all its primiti^ am^^^^^^^ 

annals of Border WrT;^;^S^^^^^^^ 

llie „,nucnce ol tl,o Johnson lamiiy with the Indians was hard 
y less potent than with their white neighbors. No wl e in aU 
nttt'lrV "" "'"° '" 'r«^ " P'-oVon-'onaie diversion o.h 

of th C 7 ""/^IT"' "' "'= ''''™'»"°"' "' i" '!'» valley 
of theiVIohawk; and on the other hand, no where were there bet- 
ter examples of patriotism, bravety and self sacrifiee. It was en 

ha,J all the features of cvd war; households were divided- it was 
brother agatns. brother, and neighbor against neighbor f^^td he" 

1 ou iMiag.,ra and Canada, they returned from time to thne unon 
g.«und,and «el] Inew where most effectually to direct their steps. 

that wo UK under much fours from H,-. r i ' f'"^"'l : — " \<.u will not .supiwse 

lJ.o(;ouo.ce river wi.W.;^::;^,,^;" S nll'O "^'^Ull 7"" ^1'^'^ ^ «tarto,l'Lm 

tJio (leuesco ru J,: w)^W. 0:^,,^ J ^i tli'S:^ x"" ' ^'^" ^"" ^1'''* ^ ^tartoti'i^on 


Butler. We were served with a,>£ d isfnnf • I ""/'xc.'lont dmuer with Col 

Bu,>i.ed ine .0., wa. to see a^fiVlll^aolr ^^Z a^'US'l o^l^^lSli^ 



and where to execute the most terrible mischief. In the retrospect, 
when nations have settled down in peace, and look bnck upon the 
excesses they have committed in the strife and hr it of w ir, there 
is always inucii even for self-accusation ; but r all t' .ist'ory of 
wars, there is nothing that so stands out in bold •-,iief, < ithout miti- 
nation or excuse, as was the sanguine policy of ;.,.. hv' in the em- 
ployment of the tomahawk and scalping knife, to aid uv:i in warring 
against her colonies. In all her own dark catalog.- n .,: wrongs, in 
the east, at home, in compelling obedience to i.'u; Uuune, the°re is 
nothing that so far outraged humanity, that so far transcended the 
rules of civilized warfare, as was the arming of savage allies, and 
sendmg them to lay waste unprotected backwoods settlements and 
massacre their inhabitants, without regard to age, condition, or sex. 
What the feeble colonies scorned to do in self-defence — after they 
had determined upon asking nothing farther than to have the toma- 
liawk and scalping knife kept out of the contest — British agents, 
with the sanction of their government, did not hesitate to do°in a 
spirit of inhumanity so sanguinary aud unrelenting, that it urged on 
Indian warfare, even when it hesitated in the execution of its 
stealthy and bloody missions. 

The Border Wars, the tory and Indian incursions from Canada 
Oswego and Niagara, continued at intervals from the flight of the 
Johnsons, Butler and Brant in '75, until August 1779. The horrid 
details already fill volumes of published history.* With powerful 
British armies to contend with upon the sea board — work enou<Th 
for the feeble and exhausted colonies — inadequate help had been 
afforded to repel invaders of the frontier settlements of New York 
The stealthy foe could make descents by land or water through dif- 
ferent unguarded avenues, and when their work of death was 
accomplished, retreat to their strong holds at Oswego and Niagara 
a wide wilderness their defence and security against pursuit and 
retribution. VVhen expeditions were planned at Niagara, if designed 
tor the valley of the Mohawk, the Indians and tories would concen- 
trate at Oswego; and if the valley of the Susquehannah was the 
destination, they would concentrate upon the Genesee river, Seneca 



ii i,f 



Lake, or the Tioi 

ga river. Their 

Fort Niagara, the Bastile of the then .,_ vv„uc., 

At last, in the early part of the year 1779, Gen. W; 

prisoners were usually taken to 
western wilderness 

. ^ 1 - - — jv.>*. *i«.f, v<cu. vv ashinjiton de- 

termmed upon a measure for carrying the war home upon the inva- 
ders, rou mg the Indians from their villages, and if practicable, the 
o,ge and capture of Fort Niagara. The command was entrusted 
to Gen. Sulhvan. The army organized for the expedition was in 
three divisions. That part of it under the immediate command of 
Gen Sdhvan, coming from Pennsylvania, ascended the Susquehan- 
nah to Tioga Pomt. Another division under the command of Gen. 
James Chnton, constructing batteaux at Schenectadv, ascended the 
Mohawk and rendezvoused at Canajoharrie. opened a road to the 
head Otsego Laive, and from thence proceeded in a formi.lable 
fleet of over two hundred batteaux, to Tioga Point, formin. a 
.ivmction with the force under Gen. Sullivan, on the 22d of Au4st 
Prev.ous to the arrival of Gen. Clinton, Sullivan had sent forward 

^::::^:t''' ^" '- '-'' - '-'^'-^ ^-^^ -^ ^-'^- -^ ^ 

The con.bined forces amounted to 5,000 men. The expedition 
had !,een so long preparing, and upon the march, that the enemv 
were well apprized of all that was going on. Their plan of de- 
fence contemplated a decisive engagement upon the Chemung river 
For this purpose the Rangers and regular British troops, under the 
command of Col John Butler, Cols. Guy and Sir John .Tohnson. 

undei Brant had concentrated their forces upon a bend of the river 
near the present village of Elmira, where they had thrown up a 
long breast w^orkot logs. The united forces of the British al es 
as computed by Gen. Sullivan, was about 1500. * Havin.. ascer- 

ained their position. Gen. Sullivan marched in full force and .Stacked 
them 1. the forenoon of the 29th of August. He found the enemy 
partly entrenched and partly arranged in scouting and tlankin:. 
parties, the Imhans especially adopting their favorite mode of wai^ 
are. Well provided with artillery, a heavy fire was op.aed upon 
the enemies entrenchments, which soon proved them a weak de- 
fence; apart of the Indians were panic stricken bv the heavv 
cannonade, and fled, while other portions of then, were rallied by 

* Assumed to be niucli less in the British accounts. 



their intrepid leader, Brant, and well maintained the unequal contest 

'Bothtories and Indians were entitled 

manfully. Ev( 

3k and tree and bush 

to the credit of fighting 

,,.,,.,- .sheltered its man, from 

hehmd which the winged messengers of death were thickly sent 
but with so little effect as to excite astomshment. The Indians 
yielded ground only inch by inch ; and in their retreat darted iVom 
tree to tree with the agility of a panther, often contesting each new at the point of the bayonet- a thing very unusual even 
with, and still more rare among the undisciplined warriors 
ol the woods/; * The battle had been waged about two hours, 
when the British and Indians perceiving their forces inadequate 
anc that a maneuver to surround them was likely to be successful, 
broke and fled in great disorder. 

" This " says John Salmon, of Livingston county, who belonged lo 
the expedition and gave an accouiii of it to the author of the LH« 
ot Mary Jemison, "was the only regular stand made by the In- 
dians. In their retreat they were pursued by our men to the Nar- 
rows, where they were attacked and killed in great numbers, so that 
the sides of the rocks next the River looked as if blood had been 
poured on them by pailfuls." 

The details of all that transpired in this campaign are before the 
public in so many forms, that their repetition here^is unnecessary. 
1 he route of the army was via " French Catherine's Town,"' f head 
ot Seneca Lake, down the east shore of the Lake to the Indian 
vi.age of Kanadesag;.. (Old Castle.) and from thence to Canandai- 
gua, lloneoye, head of Conesus Lake, to Groveland. Tlie villa-res 
destroyed (with the apple trees and growing crops of the Indian! ) 
were at Catherinestown. Kendai, or "Apple Town" on the east 
side of the Lake, eleven miles from its foot, Kanadesaga, lloneoye 
Conesus. Canascraga, Little Beard's Town, Big Tree,^ Canawagus,' 
and on the return ot the army, Scawyaoe, a village between the 

' Life of Brant. 

chief ,o I'hih'w plii h ;• \^L2^ ZZ^fu "I'T'"' '^'" -eo„,paniea tho 
'""I "•'■■■'t«l will. i.Hicli rcspoA SlK • . I ' i' , 1 K.T>i""^'"^V "] l"''^-'''f<r '"'<'«<'• 
mm'kud utten iun ),y iK. Jir Sim to'* ^''' Niagara, wJ.e.e slie was trealod with 





Cayuga and Seneca Lakes, and several other Cayuga villages 
Captain Maelun was at the head of the engineers in this expion' 
Tiie industnous gleaner of Po.vIpv W • • expedition, 

or the Ilistor-' of SI 1 .^^ '^^ War rernmisc-ences, the author 
01 ^ of Schohane, has found among his papers the fol 

lowing, whicli accompanied a map of Sulhvan\ entire route L 

esee] Lasllc, taken in 1779, In/ actual survey : — 



I<rom Eastou to VVeoiniuiiin. 

lo Lackuwjiiii'Lk Creek "' 

Qtiniliitermink, . ' . 

Tuiikliiiiiiniiik Creek, 

Mcsli()liiii.f CrvL'k. 

VaiiderJips J'lantaliou, - 

\\ ealuhkiiiy 'lV»\vii, 

Wefisawkiii, 01- Pine Creek, 

Iioga, .... 

Cliemiiiig, ... 

Ncsvtoii, ... 

Preuv'li Catlieriiicstowii, - 

Kaiiilia <,r Ajjplotim 

Outlet of Seneca, Lake, 

Kaiiatlesaga, „:■ Scueca Castle 



A'.ijiista, "... 

CoKsauwauIoiij^-liby^ . 

Cliene^see Cu»tlu ' ' . 





■ 8 



l-^ ~ 














145 ~ 



21 1'" 

24 IJ.; 
255 ~ 

mad, ^A,„„„g,he papc. „f Cap,. Muchi,, « ,|,e following c^-tifi- 

i,™-i..s «ur ,1,0 F„„, t ; ,t ■ 1 1 :"" ':"" "" -"'" "■"' » "»i"»''t "'4 «.„ 

} .l..tta„,I.„ I, JOll.N-IlUTLKil, C„l.a„,l 

f-iilil. o. II... s,x X„,i„„ „„j „,„ „|,i,„ „, ,,j_, ,^^. ,^^^, „ 

wa.s prow,:,, ';i f:^;;::^^!] 't '" 't- ^■"'°-- 



Capt Gregg revived. His dog ran off to some fishern.en of the 

.^ t 'c di;^;;.- ''^^"^^',^'^--^ ^^-- ^7 i^is -oaning, attracted then, 
in the dnection of his wound.d master. Capt. Gre.. was thu. 
discovered, and hvcd to relate the story of his preser^Mioi I i 
given upon the authority of Dr. Dui<it ^^^"^'^^ ^ '^^•'^"- ^' ^« 

The march of Sulhvan, the devastations committed by his armv 
judat this distant period seem hke Vandalism, in tL ab Se' 
the consideration ihat he was acting under strict orders L 
^Mt those orders were approved, if not dictated by Washington 
The campaign was a matter of necessity; to be effectual utas' 
no -;^y-essary that its acts should be Retaliatory and r^tiib th^ 

of the So, r\ '''^ '' '^''''''y ^" ^'^^ '^'"^"^ «f subsistence 

ad '" "r '7'^^^^'-^'^- '---' P--nt their return to them, 
River ^ T ' T ^'^^';-P^"™-^«"t retreat beyond the Niagara 

ha Luld t^r ^"^r' '"-""^^ '' ''^''''y' ^^''-'^ Col. Stone 
d b ?h so n?'"r J "" " '''•'"™"^'^ ''''y ^^"=^Se he approach- 
ed b) the sound of his cannon, the author conceives, a n isappre- 
hension of his mot vp« <^fo..ifi • . <- , u, luiscippre- 

• !!>, motives, btealthy, quiet approaches, would have 
fou.^ as vicums ni every village, the o.d^Len, th^ .ZJZ 

Huma^^^^ '^"'^^'* ''''' ^'-- ^-^-^^ ^I'ies. 

vTat s ' , ^''""''^^S, that those he did not come to 

war against cou d have time to flee. It would have been a f.r 
darker feature oi the than those that have been coLain; 
o an o,ie that could not have been mitigated, if old men. . 
and children, had been unnlarmed, and exposed to the vengeanc 
o hos who came from the valleys of the Susquehannah .-md th.^ 

^o^^tr'T f ''''' '''''''' -'' -^'^^'^^-- '^h 
ex ept n a small degree -just as it should have been, if lie could 
not make victims of those he was sent to punish 

The third expedition of this campaign, which hasgenerallv b.-,. 

Fort 1 itt m August with six hundred m.Mi. and d....oyed seven,' 
M.ngoand Muneey tribes living on the Allegany, French Co ' 
and other tribmaries of the Ohio. '«"i-" «-Kl... 

The heavy artillery that Gen. Sullivar , :,n,.ht.s for as IVowton- 
wod.l uidicate that N^^gara was ong:.:.i!y the destination. T^l 
the Geiu-ral and Ins ollieers, sen.g how !,„g it had taken to reach 





If 'ill 

' m 

^' ill: 


PHELPS AND gokiiam's pueciiase. 


that pomt, m all probability dclormined .hat toomuch of 
had been wasted, .„ allow of executing their tasks in 

h ZTll ?""? ''."'^'r *' '"""" '" "f ™"'"- Besides, befofe 
aseeZed hat ,1," 'n T"'^ °'' "'= <^''™'»* ""^ f»«' ™s 

After the expedition of Gen. Sullivan, the Indhans never h-d an- 

i: :■; vef' xre'"' rrr "''^' °^ •^^'- ^■"■~' »' •">« 

eneseenvei. They settled down after a brief (li-^ht in tbei,- 

i: o°"m. M ' ™i f' °' '"^ "^^' ■" '^^ -■=* •"^«i G " 

Hinel "'"' "'""' '™°I''' ^"'^ ""frati™ of William 

..eommt of Sull.vai, s expedition, as copied from the manuserints 


J'nrve.«t. ''J'liis .tocupaucy contimicTi 'Afr'"in." •'' '",'"'1^:'''^" '"'^'"l ""''1 tlie next 
liPi- at tlie .Morris treity.-^ contimiccl, .AIi,,. Jemisoii liml the Giudcuu tract grautud to 






It IS not the design of this work to embrace a detailed account of 
Uie Five Nations. The Senecas, however, the Tsonnontouans of 
I rench chronicle, who guarded the western door of the Lon^ 
House, looking out on the Great Lakes, demand a passhig notice, as 
we are approaching a series of events connected with the "par 
tition ot their wide and beautiful domain. 

In common with the red races, they are the " autochthonoi " of the 
soil- "fresher from the hand that formed of earth the human 
^ce, than the present rulers of the land that was once theirs 
Un their hunting grounds, the pioneevs of the Genese^; country 
preparatory to settlement, kindled their camp-fires. Our clusteriii 
Cities and villages are on the sites of their ancient castles, forts and 
places of burial. In the vallies where they lived, an.l on hills 
where blazed their beacons, a people with the best blood of Europe 
111 their veins, at one ana the same time, are founding halls of leain- 
mg, and gathering in the golden harvests. The early annals of 
their occupation, to which the reader is soon to be introduced, are 
intimately blended with this once powerful and numerous branch 
oi the Iroquois confederacy, that furnished under the toteiuic 
l)ond, at the era of confederation, two of the presiding law-crivers 
and chiefs. * '"^ 

An opinion prevails, that the guardians of the Eastern Door, the 
Mohawks; or. as called by their brethren, " Do-de-o-gah," or 

* Docimicutaiy History, 


! C- 




message bearers," were the most warlike; but a careful exami- 
nation of history and the pages of Jesuit journals, establishes the 
luct, that the Senecas were not their inferiors in every martial at- 
tribute, and were always represented at a general gathering of ^he 
clans, m time of danger, by a more formidable force. They're is no 
foundat^ion for the remark of Buchanan, speaking in reference to 
the_ Mohawks, that their allies neither made war or peace without 
their consent. 

Unquestionable proof is on record, that the fierce Senecas were 
not always governed in their action by the general voice at Onon- 
daga. Sternly independent, they some times took up arms, when 
the other tribes, to use an Indian metaphor, sate smokin- in quiet 
on their mats. After the rapid decline of French ascendancy on 
this contUK'nt, and many of the tribes beheld with terror the .rov- 
ernmentof Canada fldling into English hands, the Senecas, "un- 
daunted by the danger, adhered with dogged obstinacy, to the 

For a time, they were in alliance with Pontiac, and played a 
conspicuous part with the great " Ottawa " in his plan of surprisin.^ 
a cordon of posts in the Lake country, and exterminating th^ 
• dogs m red clothing," that guarded them. This statement does 
not rest on vague conjecture, or blind tradition. By reference to 

Apul, 1763 Sir William Johnson concluded at Johnson Hall, on 
le Mohawk, preliminary articles of peace with eight deputies of 

Pon^^r' Wrr;; "'' "'r ''' ^'^ ^^°^^^^^ '"-g-' ^ad joined 
Pont ac. WMe he proud and conquering Mohawks imposed 

n bute on the Mohegans. and scoured the pine-forests of dLan 

Maine in pursuit ot flying loe.s, westward the track of the Seneca 

::^tl^'nr'^ -^ "'-''• ^^- ^-'^er Nation, with UoZZ 
both Ides the Niagara, were "blotted from the things that be •" 
and the Eries, after a brave resistance, destroyed _ tlie pri.e of 
c<.nquest, the loveliest portion of our trans-denessean o try 
The barren coast of Superior, a thousand miles away from the r 
great counc.l-fire, was trodden by their warriors 

The IH.nois turned pale at their approach on the shores of 
he M ssissipp, and no hatchets were redder than theirs in the 

et-culean tas of humbling the Lenni Lenapes, and fo etc 
hushing into silence their boasting tonnies. 




The ChippoAvas, a valinnt pc^nplo, discomfitted and utterly dis- 
mayed by their prowess, lied like hunted deer to the remote vil- 
lages of the Sioux. The Ion- and bloody wars waged by the Five 
Aations with the Southern tribe., owed their origin to an attack 
made on the Senecas in one of their distant expeditions to the 
south west, by a party of Chorokees. The war-post was at once 
struck, and the confederates joined with their injured brethren in 
resenting the insult, and taming the pride of their wily antagonists 
Though a vast extent of territory lay between the hunting grounds 
of the latter and the central fire of their cantons, the^ dreaded 
war-whoop of the Iroquois heard on the banks of the Talla- 
poosa and Ocmulgee. Forbidding wilds, draped in the lonrr .ray 
moss of mdder latitudes, and swampy fastnesses, the savage haunts 
of the alligator and terrapin, were explored by the infuriated in- 

Nature opposed no barrier to a triumphant campaign, and dis- 
tance was no obstacle in the fearful work of retaliation. 

Hiokatoo, the renowned husband of the " White Woman " was a 
leader in one of those wild forays, and when a grav-haired ancient, 
cheered many a listening circle at his lodge fire, with a narrative 
ot his exploits on that occasion. 

Individuals of Cherokee extraction, still reside on the Tonawan- 
da Reservation. They trace their descent to captives, saved from 
torture at the stake, and adopted as tribesmen bv their victors 

I must differ from many writers, misled by Heckewelder in the 
opinion that compared with surrounding nations, the Iroquois were 
no a superior race of men. No primitive people can boast of 
nobler war captains, than Kan-ah-je-a-gah, Jlon-ne-va-was, Brant, 
Hendrick an.! Skenandoah ; - no abler orators and statesmen than 
Dekanissora, Canassetego, Logan and Red .Jacket 

When the adventurous Frenchmen first set foot on Canadian soil, 
HI 003 ho ound the tribes of the League settled near Hochelaga 
on he site of Montreal. Previous to this eventful period, they we'^e' 
said o have been a peacc^ful and. happy people - more inclLd to 

rl \ ]'' f ''' '^' "'="-P''^^^- ^''h« unprovoked encroach- 
men o the Ad.rondacl. on their land - a powerful nation residing 
. 00 milos above Trois-Riv.eres, at length woke their latent enennes 

banks of the .S^ Lawrence, one of America's mighty arteries, and 



conquering the Satanas in (lie 

.. . . , , i'' migrations, they laid the founda- 

tion of empire on the borders of our beautiful Lakes. Seasoned 

hke C«;sars veterans, by hardship, long marches and victory, they 

bravely resisted the inroads of their old ene.nies, the Huron and 

ameiKls therefm-, by the exercise of greater prudence, and super or 
tiategy Fighting in small detached parties, and under iii repid 
aders they struck blows in remote points, at oiie and the same 
moment of time, producing a general panic and surprise. 

In turn, assuining the offensive, they drove back the invaders, 
di.heai toned and disconifitted, to the neighboi-hood of Quebec. 
Thcii came the tug of war. Through the intervention of Jesuit 
mfluenee so puissant in the 17th century, that Kings and I'ontiffs 
su mi ted to its dictation, the F,-ench coloiiists foi.iied an alliance 
ith the vanquished tribes. Supplied with moi-e de;idlv ^^■ea].o^s - 
the fire-ocks of civilization -the Algoi.quin ai.d ilm-o,; again 
.a-uggled lor the ma.tei-y. By coiisulting Golden, we learn that 
previous to the conflict between Chamj.lain and the Irocjuois, on the 
Lake that bears his name, the latter had never hea,-d the thun.Ier 
or seen the iightniiig of the pale faces. Though debated on that 
occasion, they were not humbled ; all fear of conseque.ices was 
mei-ged in a feeling of deep and deadly exasperation. The re- 
doubtable Cha.iiplain himself, was doo.ned a few years after to feel 
he heavy weight of their vengeance. * Incautiouslv lavinc.^e 
to one of their forts on Onondaga Lake, in October, Ul'o, he "was 
twice wounded by arrows, and forced to retire in disgrace with his 
motley an-ay of French and Indians. 

He who foils, in hard encouiUei-, a dexterous swordsman, with 
an oaken stall, gives proof of matchless uddi-ess and prowcss- 
and the fact that the Five Nations, recovering fi-om the illbcts of a 
first sui-prise, boldly maintained their ground, even at this period, 
and o.ten played an aggi-essive part, proves their native superioritv 
and gives them indisputable right to their own haught^• tei-m of 
designa t.on _ " O.i-gui-hion-wi " - men without peer.? ' 

Irench interference, in behalf of the.r old and implacable foes, 
only developed the genius of their Sachems, and attested the devo- 
tion ol their warriors. 

*0. 11. Mar«lu.U'« ulle.addrcss before the YouDg Men'. As«ociatiuu at ButtUlo. 



«l.em ,0 wage a w tin. Zl I "'' ""''"""'■'' ""=>■ '=""°™8'=d 

in... «n.i. Canada Is^pXf T^°Z::'^rr '"'■ 

posts were burned — fh^ r ■ scream, louns and out- 

-e, a,. .„. :l i;^'r,: iLr,t ;',::r %r 

age nor sex was spared. ciearnig. NeitJier 

The fur-trader found a red frrave in iU. -i . 
sentinel was shot mr>in. f. "^ ^ . ^'Iderncss ; even the 

rovZtolTx'^V ■°"''', "" "'''""-'-'ion of succlsive Vice- 

Ar„:;^!:;f ?a;r:r i::;- ":;;: "^ f ;'f r -^ ^ 

Hurons under Iho ..uns „(■ Omi!, "" °' •""■ 'aiHiful 
foe that overran the°Z.°„e?l' "f '"""''"''"S '■'"l''-"^ "^ ^ 
isis, ■■ as a torre, , i ^ , " ■ ,"'' ""^ f ™"S """"■'' »'' l""' annal- 

and there i "^^Itl.tndt!;""'-''"''^' "■'■^" " »-'"»- - "--k^. 

fer^r ■'Lt:. ™,rl' Ita't"?""^, """ """■• ^»P-' "^ 
Ab„righ,al League Th„n , f ""''''" ""'' "''"'■^ "' 'l>i» 

I'i-rro. with a few horl "f S 'ch"' """""r" ""^ 
shouting rider- deemed bv tl,r=l , '^'""^'"5 slecd and 

Centaur of fable !!ra,,ll„; ^'"> ,"""«»"<= a'M"aI, like the 
^bdned them '^th T^^JZ'"^ "" '','"'' "^ "'^- '™">P»' 
overcome In ,i. 1^ „f ^ , ™ "PI*"' '° P""-'"'!^'" could . 
»iain like unre is n ,|1„ i!' '"'"" ""',' """'^' "'""-"i^ -'e 

yoke, and loold;^ ^n X 'ol/ ^Z:,™'?""™" f'"' "^'=^^ '° ""= 
ed ignominious dea.l^^ Vr '"■ '"'••"■'■'"■'*en Incas sufltr- 

perieueed a f vjXt J ^e Thf '^' ™r" ""^ """^ ^^'^^ ""^ -- 
away, as it wore in , nuZ '"r ]''^'-'^^"<"'» f>'c ; U crumbled 

feet^aliy insur,'; i^:! J.i» ^'"™''" " '' """""'S -ore ef- 




ii» n 

The romantic valor of a few Castiiian adventurers, outweighed 
in the scale of rondict, the countless multitudes that opposed them. 

Montezuma and Guatimozin, after all, were nothii.f^ more than 
royal shadows, notwithstanding their patient martyrdom. 

The sceptred i)hantoms invoked by the weird sisters were less 
trad and unsubstantial, for they inspired fear — extorting this shud- 
dering cry from a tyrant and regicide, bloody and false like Cortcz — 

"Lot this pernicious Jiour 

Stand, aye, acciirsetl in the calcmhir." 

Of difTerent mould and mettle, were the Sachems and Attotarhos 
of the Five Nations. They were endowed with the will to dare — 
the hand to execute. Their Garangulas and Decanissoras — their 
OuHdiagas and Karistageas united to indomitable courage, talents 
for negotiation, and resistless eloquence. 

Less brilliant than banded states that paid submissive tribute to 
the Aztec emperor, there was more stability and strength in their 
unwritten compact of union. Though a mere handful, compared 
with tlie swarming and priest-ridden slaves of Mexico, they posses- 
sed an inherent valor and spirit of independence, that submitted to 
no wrong, and brooked no rivalry. Seldom in the field with more 
than a thousand warriors, they went forth conquering and to con- 
tjuer— bound by an heraldic tie that evoked a deeply-rooted senti- 
ment of regard and national pride. 

Less formidable by far was Spanish inroad at the extreme south 
than French military power on this continent so vainly exerted, 
under De Nonville and Frontenac, to overawe and subdue them! 
" and it can scarcely be deemed fanciful to assert," says a dis- 
tmguished writer, * " that had Hernando Cortez entered the Mohawk 
valley inst, .d of that of Mexico, with the force he actually had, his 
ranks would have gone down under the skilfulness of the Iroquois 
ambuscades, and himself perished ingloriously at the stake." 

Wherever they were urged onward by a martial impulse and 
ardor that no diiHculties could lessen or abate — whether traversing 
the Appalachian chain or western prairie — the fame of their ex" 
ploits preceeding them, created panic, and paralized resistance. 
Though thinned in number by long and bloody wars, they were fear- 
fully formidable in modern times : foes in our revolutionary struggle, 

* Schoolcraft. 

theyproye.1 their devotion to their British Father at Wyom 

i\iinni«ml.- onri rvi,M,..,^r.,l /-»_• i._ .... J " 


Al.nn.sink and mournful Oriskauy- friends at a later epoch, of ou 
Union, they followed Oundiakaand Ilonneyavvas to the red field of 
Chippewa. Atall periods oftheir history -flushed with triumph.or 
clouded by disaster -there has been no decay of hereditary valor. 
Whether known as 'Massavvornekes' to the southern, or 'Na- 
dowu to the western Tribes, they were alike terrible and invinci- 
ble. A more splendid race of savages never launched their war- 
cnnoes on our streams, or drew bow in our forests ; and a wild macr. 
namity throws light on their darker traits, in their practical applica- 
tion of the motto, " parcere subjectos, et extirpare superbos." Hu- 
manity blushes to recall the scenes of rape and hellish licence that 
have followed the storming of towns, and sack of cities in the old world 
t.ut an Iroquois warrior was never known to violate the chastttv of 
a temale prisoner. 

Often a chivalric spirit gave an air of romance to their native 
daring. After a successful foray into an encmv's country, pursu- 
ers on the trail, finding their gage of mortal defiance, would move 
with greater circumspection. Like the generous reptile whose 
dread rattle arrests the step of the hunter, significant tokens dropped 
by the way, warned foemen to retire, or expect no mercy at their 
hands. Thus in 1696, when Frontenac's army was on the Oswec^o 
two bundles of cut rushes, in their line of march, a numerical si^n' 
conveyed the startling intelligence that more than fourteen hundred 
warriors were on the watch for their comincr. 

Not less haughty and heroic was their conduct in 1779, when re- 
tirmg before the greatly superior force of Sullivan. Thev bent a 
tree, and twisted its rugged top around the trunk, as an emblem of 
their^own situation - bent but not broken - smitten, but not over- 

Though all the tribes of aboriginal America were competitors ; the 
palm forgreatest manifestation of mental power would be awarded 
to this extraordinary people. The principle of unity that banded 
them together, oflspnng of profound policy that lifts them above the 
hunter state - the.r love of liberty that scorned submission to foreign 

Tt it ' f r f '" rP'' ^" '°""^^'' '''''^ '^' ^''' ^J^i"^"' diplo- 
matists of a boasted civilization -the wonderful eloquence of their 

Ihene?' t,! "^l?^ eompanson with the finest periods of Demos- 
thenes - their self-reliance that laughed r.tthe menaces of kings- 

'4i " 





'9/ ^m J^ SsM'm 



















WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(>16) 872-4503 






;p.; : 



their long adherence to one great plan of conquest ; — bear witness 
that they were a highly-gifted race, and may well make them objects 
of intense interest to the poet, philosopher and historian. The climate 
enjoyed, and the country occupied by them were favorable to the de- 
velorpement of a noble manhood. Their broad domain was irrigated 
by streams whose rich alluvial bottoms rewarded the rudest tillage 
with a full supply of golden maize ; its forests abounding in animals of 
chase — bear, bounding deer, majestic moose and elk — furnished 
their lodge boards with venison ; and the lovely lakes that spotted its 
rolling surface, paid rich tribute to the bark-net, and barbed spear of 
the fisherman. 

Man owes many of his characteristics to the scenes amid which 
he is nursed, and the grand, geographical features of Iroquois em- 
pire were sources to its upholders and lords, of liigh, ennobling 
thought. Rivers rushing to find a level "either in the gulfs oi' St. 
Lawrence and Mexico, or in the intermediate shores of the Atlan- 
tic " — Erie and Ontario, those lonely worlds of waters, that border- 
ed on the north and west, with a blue belt, their hunting grounds ; 
the Adirondack chain, with its deep gorges, vapory cones, and 
splintered cliffs — old mossy woods, where the mysterious winds 
awoke their wildest music ; glades basking in the light, and glens, 
where reigned at noon-day a sepulchral gloom ; and, more than 
all, the mighty Cataract of Niagara, singing an eternal anthem at 
the western door of their Long House; were sights and sounds that 
found a reflex and an echo, not only in their magnificent traditions, 
but in the sublime imagery and symbolic phraseology of their 
orators. Previous to the overthrow of the Neuter Nation, and 
subsequent to that event, of the Erics, the Seneca country extended 
westward to the Genesee. After that period they were undisputed 
masters of the soil from the valley of Pleasant Water, to the banks 
of the De-o-se-o-wa, or Buffalo Creek. Disputes have arisen among 
antiquarians, as to the question whether the Kah-kwahs and Erie.s 
were one and the same people. All Indian history proves that a 
tribe is often known by diverse names in their own tongue, as well 
as in difierent dialects. For example, referring to their position, the 
Senecas were called "Swan-ne-ho-ont," (door on the hinge) — in 
reference to the place of their origin — an elevated point at the 
head of Canandaigua Lake, " Nun-do-wa-ga," or people of the Hill. 
Whether known as Allegan, Erie, or Kah-kwah, the weitern door- 


keepers strucrgled many years in vai'n tr. „• .u t 
of .he League a grca.efeins „ " To" eS , t si ™' "°"" 
Iheir Canadian seats, on the St. Lawrence and ,Kr"''""'"« 
.hey checW in their march .owarV he e , j Jn "xhT' ^'7 
m arna, ,ve,e incHned. while hand could wM L.che. no o" 

- well worth the bloody sacHficeTrw T5 ''''= ^''''^■•"''^ 

gallant people i„ defen'din; hf i olrr oTt 'V 'T^' '"" 
.hen, wa. a foe. renowned throu„Wh/naiI T ^"^^ '° 
durance, enterprise and boundlef/lbita "' '" "™"^^' '"■ 

i he latter assign as cause of war, the defeit of fJ,« K" u i u 
■n^J^ll Playing, and other athletic ^^n^Z^t Z^^^;:^ 

lav one 01 the tairest gardens of this western Wnrl^ t* 
was a„ easy task for their subtle minds to frame Ip^ text t h 

bitterly bewailin- il„ !„.. .k 7u """'"'"gas. and found them 
massacre "f, 7 "I line *lt°f ''^^^ '■"<' -»'--<i i" the 
enemies, the IcIlkwahsTh "^ " A-nen-cra-os " by their 

verydiskstrouststrto^th'er;:;^""""^"^"^""™ "^*°'" -^ 


Wgl.. martia '"ul^Ue ' f B^"!™' " """'-'akeable proof of their 

Chhood. on C::;,^z/!z:i^t: "^ 

Genesel Uiver L^^h : tcTte ^ !"" ''"T""'^"" "-"'^ """ '^» 

days march from the „U X e of C™" "''""'° ""^ "'^" " 

o,a village of Cannewaugus, in a westward 

f -*! 





direction. The place of final conflict is better known. Leaving 
more than half of their warriors, pierced by the shafts, and crushed 
by tho war clubs of the conquerors, the survivors fled to their prin- 
.cipal village, and strong-hold on the De-o-se-o-wa. 
. ^ Reinforced by tlicir allies, the Senecas pursued and attacked them 
in their fortress. After a brave resistance a feeble remnant of the 
once haughty Eries fled from their old hearth-stones and possessions 
to an Island of the Allegany ; but a foe was on their trail, truer 
than the sleuth-hound when he has tasted blood. The unhappy 
fugitives, surpris^^d in their encampment, fled down the river, under 
cover of night, losing forever in distant wilds, their identity as a 
nation. A few, saved from the general slaughter and dispersion, 
were adopted by the confederates ; for by this politic course, they 
in part, repaired the dreadful ravages of war, and postponed the 
dismal hour of their own inevitable declension and fall. 

I cannot forbear, in my brief sketch of their extirpation, from 
closing in the eloquent words of my friend Marshall : — " They are 
a people of whom there is scarcely a memorial, save the name of 
the Lake that washes the shore they ruled. Fit mausoleum of an 
extinct tribe ! Even the vague tradition that transmits their mem- 
ory, will soon be lost, with the last remnant of the ' Nun-de-wa-gas' 
that swept them from existence." 

Enraged by continued infraction of their territory, during the ad- 
ministration of De la Barre, by the passage of French trading 
parties to the south west, laden with material to arm their enemies, 
the Senecas began hostilities by wresting from them their powder 
and lead — seizing their canoes, and dismissing them, homeward, 
with threats of torture and death if they ever returned. In his in- 
structions to the French Governor, on receipt of the alarming intelli- 
gence, Louis XIV, recommended a prompt invasion of the hostile 
country, and directed that all prisoners of war takei) in the cam- 
paign, when opportunity offered, should be shipped to France, re- 
marking, in his despatch, that " the Iroquois, being stout and robust, 
would serve with advantage in his galleys.' 

What plan, by the rash Bourbon, could have been devised, I ask, 
more certain than this to undermine his sovreignty on this conti- 
nent? An attempt to enslave a high spirited race, that preferred 
liberty to life, was a long stride, on the part of French America, 
towards certain destruction. Captives, treacherously seized, were, 


actually caiTied to France, in pusurance of royal policv, and forced 
J n to degradmg service. 

At a subsequent period thoy were liberated and laden with pres- 
ents, brought back to Canad.. But the dragon-teeth had been sown 
and U was too late to hope for a burial of the hatchet. The nsu^t' 
n-as one that the Five Nations would neither forget nor forgive - 
and r.any ^,^re the bloody scalps that soon hung drying \ the 
smoke of the. w.gwams. De la Barre's expedition to'La°Famine 

b; r^^^y^ ^^'' "; ''"'f''''' ^^'^h the royal pleasure, was attended 
b d sa strous resets A terrible distemper broke out in his camp, 
and the half fam.hed troops, spurning restraints of discipline, clamori 
eJ lor speedy departure to their homes. 

While thus in a condition to become an easy prey for enemies 
ever on the watch, he endeavored to achieve by'^lomacyw" he 
could no effect by force. Messengers were sent entreating the Five 
Nations to meet h.m in council on the shore of the Lake 

1 he Mohawks and Senecas returned a haughty refusal, bvt the 
remammg tnbes complied with his request. Th .'peech of Gar n. 
gulo. on that occasion, has been justly deemed a master-piece of 
argument and eloquence. ^ 

De la Barre had indulged in idle bravado, thinking that his real 
s.uat.on was unknown to his eagle-eyed adversary f and no h'g 
could have astomshed him more than the picture^ drawn by f 
sarcastic chief, of his utter inability to strike a blow -or mire 
galling to a soldier's pride, than the taunting language that he em! 

"Hear, Yonnondio! our women had taken their clubs, our chil- 

or;::':^ t '^' ^"'■'^' '^^"' '^''-^ ^^^ — -^^ the he . 

themblcr'' '" '"""" '"' "^^ ^'^'^^-'^^ ^'-"' -^d '-Pt 

Soon after this signal exposure of his weakness, the Governor 

returned to Canada, with a dispirited army, and a ta^ished relX 

The Marquis De Nonville, successor of De la Barre thoucrh an 
accomplished officer, was taught a still sterner lesson in 1687 n 

tl. n H r IT) 7'' ^"° ^'^^"^^^"^ -Sulars and militfa and a 
hou and fnendly Induans, he landed at "O-nvui-da-on-da-.wat " o 

ed Long-house, at a point never before invaded, bv securing 



II 'I 




greater chances of sucrpsc T . ^ l- 

gardedthe most ferociousand ^''.'"f ,""' /<"'«<^"'. J-H)' re- 
the Marquis hoped 1021 2 T .'" "' "'" '''""' ^-'ions, 
their strong Loa'.„e ?„ * ' r •' "' ''"™"" "" ''™" "' 
hi» name, i„ eo„^ rin" rt^ion !' "'' •™"" "''" "^""^ '» 
nf t;^,.ov,« "^ legion, and annexinrr t to the rrnwn 

of France, unsurpassed in beauty and fertility "J J i 
sons," mild of climate, intersected hvl,'''. ,^^ '"«"'^^ ^^a- 
and said, by writers o tl^^ ^1 ^be ""^ ' ^ '^"' """' 
the fru.its of Touraine and 1^^^ ^'^^''^ '' '^^™S all 

in addition, by erectintT n fnrf of «. ♦! 

■and between the Niagara Rit a„a La\: or"''.^.".'""^r "' 
secure uninterrupted oommund „r ,h ,''"'' '''""'""M to 

beaver trade, and urnth alee „, T"' '"'«'^- "«>"°P»l-e the 
savage .,i „, Iwl^-ltr/^lThrq^r ''^ '"' ''' 

tecttett^rh:t'„rr:^^r-"'^-- •» - 

villa put his ar„,, i„ '^^.T wlT:'^ T'^'' ^' """"■ 

body of the Seneea warriors hastened to rrn'ovethti;. 'old ""''" 
women and children to places of safelv ll , "'"^ ™™' 

men at a small fort to lctZ!co!j^fT^ " '""''""^ "''^'""^ 
watch the progress of the invader^ *"~""'°"' ""'' ^^'-^ 

The latter, informed that " Ynnnnnri;^" 
sent runners to their friends „d Z ™ "" "■»'•■'"'*• 

give him a suitable recept!"„ " ^'"""S '™" """^'^ ^-"' '° 

baitr^t^'r;,: S!'::!'^e!::t:f r-" "°*^ ''"'-^- 

which was a deep and dan^erot's ttile ""=""''■ " "'^ '■°°' "^ 


-.vmgs to quicken their moyempnt, Ti • j ^] "^""^ "^"^ 

•be nation bad Hed, JZT^X^tS X ^T '™''' °' 
the French plunged rashly into thedelil While icV'T'"™' 
*e dreaded and blood-curdling war vh^iop'o? ' T ""' ''"''^' 
their ears, foII„we<l by a hcavv volhv f , ■"""" '•'"S™ 

bravest wen. down undir d e'elos IcharT f 'f "^""^ "^''^ 
recoiled ; then, emulating French .peedt^^'.^ttleSX sp::!^ 



sharnefully fled, disorganizing the whole line, and carryin. dism.v 
in their course. "Battalions " — snv<! T n TT ♦ ">i>'o aismov 

the historian of the H-ht -" 'separated tf/rt' ' T'^'"'' "^^' 
r,.,f I n „ ° separated into platoons, that ran with- 

ou o.,e, pe„.„,], , ,he right and left, not ..«..•„. Ju^t 
v^r,nt. A more vivid picture of utter overthrow for the timp 11 
the contagion of fear, could not be drawn ' ''''^ 

Before tJ,e panic subsided, the Senecas broke cover, and charged 
the flying foe, tomahawk in hand. cnarged 

f..,^f-^''i''''["Sitivesvvere slain, but the pursuers followed too 
far, losing the advantage of a thick wood, and strong position Such 

vuie checked the Senecas, and after a valiant stand, and desoerate 

Spartan prowess could l,ave done no more. A General thirty 
years ,„ serv.ce, and a favorite officer of ..the Magnificent Lou s" 
had been surprised ; his savage hordes coloni-,1 levl. , 
regiments disordered, charged' and tren ^ ' JTCo, ™S 

numbcs from he crmvnmg disgrace of a disastrous defeat 

Though repulsed, the Senecas were not disheartened and when 
challenged, ,„ the.r retreat, ,o stand and figl,,, halted onTermw 
d ed ,' ', ""^'"''1'' ^-"^""'^ ""■ "■"" '■""dred to our four hZ 

we ti^fU: :::.::' Lt'':" t"-" *"™ ^-^-^ '^'^ 

iU^ r. :■ • '^ '^ unnecessary to remark thif 

inX ;" T ""' ""'"^''' '"' ™ ""™ ^--1- -" »% or 

'hri:r:;et.t°''™'""° """ *'^"' "•"""■'^ °-^'"»^- 

If De Nonviile was the chivalrous ;,o!dier and christian fh,, 

* Doc. "Ilk" Vol. 7, p. 248. 
+ Doc. "His." p. 231. 

!• • < 




Zu ^ '"""" '° "'^ '"^'^ "'»' fell i"lo Ills Land, 

wnicn he billorly deiionnces their cowardice and cruel'v' lln.J 

TOoate^s 1 iclory. w,th La Hontan's, Ijiat besides twentv-Uvo woun 
ded, a„ hundred Frenchmen, and ,e„ savages were slak ? 
/he Baron s honest narralive, so little flatlerin,; to the militnrv 

in view or their „t.:rl„reLc7:o cTf ^i^ ^ 'XeTnT 
mans, sneenn-ily exclaim, tha, "they were only f„ to make war on' 
Indian corn, and bark nnn«o. » r *i ■ ^ 'uiumdKe wai on 

.he French ^ffic s "t Snt kovS vl™ ," "'°''' 7 "°"''' *" 
o„„,ii II ,1 ''""' "°}"l' jeered one another for bein<r 
appalled by the Seneca war whoop to such a de<.ree I, .„Tn 
terror-stricken and powerless to the ground • ° " 

The memory of illustrious women who have matched, in defence 
of altar and hearth, the deeds of the sterner sex, has beenenshri ed 
m song, and honored by the Historic Muse. J^an of Trc a„d the 
dark-eyed ma,d of Saragossa, in all coming time, will be dnvllric 
watchwords for Fr,ance and Spain, but iJlcss worthy of "corT 
and poetic er,,balmment, were the five devoted heroines wL f„ o"ed 
«hei red lords to the battlefield, near ancient Gana™ "'d 
fought with unflinching resolution by their sides, f Ch^n^f 
sue w-ives could not beotherwise than valiant. « Brin. b ckTour 

junction to her son; but, roused to a higher pitch of coura-e the 
Jid daughters of the Genesee stood in Ihe perilous pass, and !„ 

tiie thunder of the captains, and the shouting." 

ton 'hniT'" °^"!;' '"■•"""''"'"^ i'™P'ion into the Seneca can- 
ton, though preceded by months of busy preparation, .reat con- 
ump.on of material, and attended by the pomp'and pa al o Tr 
may be summed up m few words. 

* Doc. "His." Vol. 1, p. 2.1C. 
tDoc. "His." Vol. l,p.248. 

le helpless and 
his hands, 
nor, his official 
iuty admirably 
the Minister, 
JruelLy? IIqw 
to an almost 
ity-two woun- 
ain ? 

the military 
lain, by other 
jnant savage. 
Western Ro- 
make war on 
a record, that 
ler for beinnr 
•ee, as to fall 

d, in defence 
!en enshrined 
Arc, and the 

be chivalric 
ly of record, 
-vho followed 
agarro, and 

Children of 
ig back your 
:r's stern in- 
ourage, the 
'ass, and, in 
le sword — 

leneca can- 
great con- 
ide of war, 


A battle was fought in which the field was won by the French — 
the glory by their foe. Then a few unarmed prisoners were tor- 
tured, corn fields laid waste, and bark villages burned, followed bv 
alarms that caused a precipitate retreat to their boats, harrassed 
every step of the way by hovering parties in pursuit. Embarking 
at Irondequo.t, after the loss of about twenty men,* they coasted 
along the Lake, leaving a feeble garrison at Niagara to defend an 
isolated post. 

i;iie greater part of them, soon after, including the commander. 
Ue Troyes. while closely besieged by the Iroquois, fell victims 
within their stockade, to the not less fearful assaults of famine and 



w! %, r f r P'?f '^ ^^'^' ^^^^'^ '""^"^ '^'' Revolutionary 
wa Engkind, f.,rgetful of their obligations to the Six Nations. 

tT 'n7 ' "^r''"^ '^'"^ '^■^'^^"">^' ^' ^'^^ d^-a^'ated fron- 

e se tlements fully attested, made no provisions for their allies; 

but left them to the mercy or discretion of those against whom they 

clr'^f .r«' ^"^r '"'^ «^"g"-^^T warfare. "The ancient 

the 1 1 f h !, 1''""^' '^' '''''^''''' °^ ^heir ancestors, from 
the time far beyond theiv earliest traditions, was included in the 
boundary granted to Americans." f According to the usages of 

, ,, . , tMaj. Schuyler to Gov. boiigan, Doc. His. v. 1 p. 255 

t Menional of tlie Six Js^ations, presented to Lord Camden. 




i !l 

US! I 








;rr r::::;r!:« rr;!:;r rrr 

ties of our General nm] ^t.t. r ^""'1"«' "> • -"ut the authori- 

so strinrrpnt. , , u '^^^^ Governments did not clioose to apply 
so stringent a rule to the simple natives, who were unlearnoH n 
reference to the position in which their action in e w t 'pi " 


Gene., sc,,„,:e. aided b^. :^r:it:er„?t:,iir:;:":: 

co..,ue.. would have been far .„„ expeiive .h npraee oh 

The cessation of hostilities on the pa,t of those to whor,, they had 
lately been all,es, left them in an embarrassing position Enll „d 
had made a peace, and left her allies in the fidd to fi"ht it ou or 

Previous to the cession by all the states, of lands within their 

Ge"r: :u;d%M "T^' ^°^^^""^^"' ''' -^P-tive ri^f 
astliiStnt Governments were but illy defined; and so far 

as h,s State was concerned, especially, a collision was had As 

making the Governor and a Board of commissioner the Superb 
ten ents oflndian a^airs. The commissioners designated weTl 
Abraham Cuj^er P ter Schuyler, Henry Glen, who°associated with 

Yates, jr., P. W. Yates, John J. Beekman, Mathew Vischer, (ien 

a umJdTh 1 . ""™"' ""^"-^^ ^'^"^^"' ^' "- head of the Boar ,' 
assumed the laboring oar of negotiation. The services of the mis- 

thc.iraids«S,f til w'slr'""'/^ been pursued, the Indians .vould have called to 
HIacksnake, m.w Tn h mdre Tve '.""fl ""^- r^'""^"'^ ^'^" '''''■ '^'^'^ ^^^^'^^''We chief 
«ists that tie Six Natriwe^Wo tt/r''r f''^ ^"'^-^''"^ Keservatiou, i„. 

onquered poo- 
Jt the authori- 
loose to apply 
unlearned in 
5 war had pla- 
id, ungrateful, 
vailed in the 
g those who 
>tate Legisla- 
favor, that it 
opposition of 
on, with the 
' by a feeling 
ed war and 
ice negotia- 
)etter policy 

orn they had 
1- England 
[ht it out, or 
has seldom 

ivithin their 
e rights of 
; and so far 
s had. As 
!ed an act, 
e Superin- 
d were : — 
:iated with 
3roeck, A. 
cher, Gen. 
the Board, 
f the mis- 

ve cnllcd to 
erable chief 
irvatiou, in- 
a conquered 

rmsips AND ooeiiam's PUECIIASE. 101 

sionary, the Iv.v Mr. Kirkland, of Peler Ryokman, Jacob Keed 
James Deane, Major Fonda, Col. Wemple, Major F,y, Col Va„' 
%le, - „,„s, of whom had been India,, trader, or captive, -were 
enhsted. Peter nyck,„a„ beean,e to the Board.Tlcie Tf 

■w,nged Mercury," flying from locality ,0 locality- now aX da 
then at Kanadesaga, then at Niagara, consulting, with Bran, and 

ne« a, Albany, reporting the result of his conferences vh t e 
sta esn,e„ and d,plo,„a.ists of the forest. The time and place 
ol a treaty vvas parl,ally agreed upon 

In the mean ti,ne, Congress had contemplated a general treaty 
with the Indians. bor<}er,ng upon the settlements in New York 
Pen„syU,an,a and Ohio; and had appointed as its commisLner ' 
Ohver Wolcott, K.chard Butler and Arthur Lee. A co,re po^.' 
ence took place between the New York Boa,-d and the Co,l,s 

he respec..-e nghts to treat with the Indians, wasse,-i„usly involv- 
ed. The New York Commissioners found the Indians generally 
averse to treating with a State, but generally disposed to mee 2 

pelt of"so "' Tk' ''"" " "'"'' °f ^^'^ J°'""J' "i* 'heir 
people of some of the western nations. Most of the sp,in., and 

ummer of 1784, was consumed by endeavors of the New Y„ k 

Board to get acouncilof the Six Nations convened. On the fi"., 

o September, they met at Fort Schuyler-deputies from the mI 

hawks, Cayugas, Onondagas and Senecas. The Oneidas and Tus- 

caroras held back; but deputations from them, were b,ough. i,^ by 

runners on the th.rd day. The deputies of these two nat,°o„s were 

first addressed by Governor Clinton. He assured them of a di 

p„s, ,o„ to be at peace ; disclaimed any intention to deprive hem 

of thetr lands; proposed a settlement of boundaries; and warned 

.hem ap,nst dtsposing of their lands to other than ommissione,; 

V h th ra for lands, when they were disposed to sell them. In re- 
pl) to tins speech, a delegate of the two nations cxp,essed their 
gra.,ficat,„„ that the war had ended, and th,at they couM now me 

"vh :rv'" p''" '"''''''■" '■^°"'>-° ---P." -wTe 

th,s path winch you have seen as you have come along, has been 

rewed w,th blood. We. therefore, in our turn, console'your Z 

es and sorrows during these troublesome times. We rejoice that 



you have opened the path of peace to this country " Hp fh. v A 
the commissioners for their nL\r^ f. fi VT 7^" ^^^^ikeA 

r^ J ,u , / * '""' °° """""'"y f™"! Cons-ras ; but as he h-,<l 
.nv,ed.heI,,d,a„Mo assemble a. For. S.anvv^x, o^ ,he 20 h If 
Sep ember, the commissioner,, ,o save the trouble of t, o cou noil/ 
would alter the determination of holdin.. their eound ,^ N? 
and meet them at For Stanwix on the S„r "°""' 

Mohawks, Ouonda;,™, Cayugas, and Senecas." He assured them 
.ha what was a colony had becon,e a Stat. ; that he a^d h s M nd^ 
had met them to open the paths of peace, to establish tha f endiv 
relation that eMsted between the Indians and their whiteLiTbo ^ 
prevtous to the war. Some passages of the Governor's speech wL 
us truly eloquent as any thing that will be found amon/our Shte 
records. He sa,d : " The council fires which was lighted both i 
Albany and Onondaga by our ancestors and those of Ihe SixNa 
t,ons, wh,cn burned so bright, and shone with so friendly a I ^h,' 
over our common country, has unhappily been almost e.xting„i h' d 
by the late war Great Britain. I now gather to.'ether a Thi« 
pace the remaining brands, add fr. h fuel, an'd w hX true ^W 

ttt ToT; """ ""^ "'"™'"^' '■™"*'>'''' -''-^''^ 'ke fire, in J 
that no future events may ever arise to extinguish n ■ but that von 
and we, and the offspring of us both, may enjfy its beiign i fl e'nce 

heletteisof the commissioners of Congress, he assured them that 
their business was with Jndian. residing out of any Stlte Z h 
New Yorlt had a right to deal with those residing. 'Z hj;":;,:.' 

JJ^l ?.!"" '" *' ^.'^'"•""■■■^ speech was made by Erant He 
aid that It meets with our dispositions and feehngs of our r^'inds " 

tlrZ'Z 1 *^':^^P^""™ "'-- of Congress "and New York 
to treat with the Indians, he thought it strange that « there shou d 

He thanked 
nd Tusoaroras, 
•chase of their 

iscarora chiefs 
!s. The letter 
ce with all the 
- that the Gov- 
; but as he had 
™ the 20th of 
two councils, 
iil at Niagara, 

'arriors of the 
assured them 
md his friends 
I that friendly 
lite neighbors 
's speech was 
mg our State 
ghted both at 
the Six Na- 
endly a light 
?ether at this 
he true spirit 
fire, in hopes 
but that you 
gn influence 
•eference to 
;d them that 
te ; but that 
in her boun- 

Erant. He 
our minds." 
^ew York 
here should 



be two bodies to manage the same business." Several speeches 
followed, Brant and Cornplanter being the spokesmen of the Indi- 
ans. The utmost harmony prevailed ; the Indian orators treating 
all subjects adroitly, manifesting a disposition to make a treaty, but 
evidently intending to stave otf any direct action, until they met 
in council the U. S. Commissioners. To a proi)osition from Gov. 
Clinton, that the State of New York would look for a cession of 
lands to help " indemnify them for the expenses and sacrifices of 
the war ; " they replied, admitting the justice of the claim, but say- 
ing they were peace ambassadors, and had no authority to dispose 
of lands. The council broke up after distributing presents, and 
leaving the Indians a supply of provisions for subsistence while 
waiting to meet the U. S. Commissioners. 

The treaty of Fort Stanwix followed, conducted by the United 
States Commissioners, Oliver Wolcott, Richard Butler, and Arthur 
Lee. No record of the proceedings exist in our public archives ; 
the general result is however known. Terms of peace were con- 
cluded ; the western boundaries of the Six Nations were so fixei 
as to enlarge the " carrying place" on the Niagara river they had 
previously ceded to the King of Great Britian, and starting from 
the mouth of Bufialo Creek, was to be a line running due south to 
the northern boundary of Pennsylvania; thence westto the end of 
said boundary ; thence south along the west boundary of said State 
to the river Ohio. The treaty was eflected with considerable ditTi- 
culty, a large number of the Indians insisting that it should be gen- 
eral, and embrace the western Indians, so that all questions of boun- 
daries could be settled at once. Brant was absent, transactin^r 
some business with the Governor of Canada. Had he been present" 
it is doubtful whether any treaty would have been concluded. Red 
Jacket, then a youth, made his first public speecii, and as Levasseur, 
(who derived his information from La Fayette,) says : — "His speech 
was a masterpiece, and every warrior who heard him, was carried 

NoTE.-La Fayette was present at the treaty of Port Stanwix. After the laDso of 
forty yearn, the (,rcum,us Frenchman, tlie companion of Wasliingto.t uu the s'neca 
orator, affun met The author was present at tlie interview. A conconi^o of cit"i"ens 
hiwl been asseml.lec Or nearly two .lays, awaitinf: the arrival of the st™m boa from 
Dunku-k, which had been cliartcred by the committee of Erie county to come La 
Faye te to Buffi, o, and among them was Red Jacket. He made, a.sui.a1, a somcilm 
ostentatious display of his medal_a gift from Washington - and it required the c- 
peml a tention of a select committee to keep the aged cliief from aXd ,.e ce _ 
a "sin that so easy beset him," -which woiUd have'^ marred the dignity if'not tlic 




away with his oloniipnrp " TT^ * , 

away the r„„,i, "fVl'""'', '""'T'^ "S"'"^' "''""« 
advocated a ro„o°va Tt t' '^t,"\, "' ""'• """ ''°'J'> 
planter, however, nreva le Th .,*" """""'■' "^ Corn- 

agreed to surrend,. "n o he ''"«"='-''"l".v. Th. Six Nation, 
brought to the ,r v-11 1 r T"'"' """ ""■ "■''»'" '■"'l '-een 
in be1,„lf of th I S s" Lr '""''T- "^''^ ""--"i-'oners.„ oftelfnTSerrS ^h'ief '^ ^""°"^ ''" 

advising tlL tl",t he t ,e h Id hf " ^""'"=" "'°''' "='"»' -"l 

infonned ti.em that it v „ e ,oST '" ""^^ '" ^"''''"-■ 

™mo of their lands south o" U Taji, "''a^rT ''T"' '" ^'" 

sioners were ready to purchase Am ' T '°' "» '^™'"i'- 

;io.;, the Go.ernoJ.s sp^lt ™ rf;",": ^ ;"i;.,t^^,f;f ""■ 

before the Kevo,uti:„t aid ■ ttZTFlT. "'"'V'^ f ""^-'^^ 
were poor, applied to us lor h,l \ T ''™'''" "ben Ihev 

'hey are .-iclfthey dol ° 4 : li^l .^°\T"° ""f ^^ *"" ™"- 
const,™™te abilit; ; especiallydid "he ihief I I leT ■"" °"^ ^^ 
Governor, in a lieouent allnsi™, i„ i ! ^ '"'''™ "P"" 'bo 

to keep their lands D „ " H , , , "' '"^™'' '° ""^ '"dians 
ceeded": the Indians nr U " rofi^ ll?'' ^^^^^ r""' -- 

romance of the i;itomlerl iiifcrvioxr ~Th'. '■ —-— 


gainst ceding 
3t, and boldly 
cils of Corn- 
ploquence of 

Six Nations 

om had been 


N'ations the 

! recognized 

had made 

!v, after the 
ner, in June 
'ov. Clinton 
rights, and 
5 purchase, 
ared to sell 
cam mis- 
s delibera- 
the minis- 
with lands 
5 Mohawks 
vhen ihoy 
; but now 
ras one of 
s upon the 
le Indians 
'^hig suc- 
ut failincr 

orally, were 
iroiiirli wi( Ji. 
t,'!ii.s-< ill lii-i 
'' '» iiroiulcr 
'll^^ii'li, if i; 
leral in liis 
'«', LaKav- 
'•I'.'lt" 8;i'i,! 

■MkoU Til.. 

'as enrich. 



get lice. a. .hey were o^a loiv 7°'"^ '^ ^■™™''"'' «•" "°-''' 
•hey't„e A^l^ ^le ? ^I "'h'^'IT- ""^™°" 
overcome their cneraies " ^' * ''"■* "'""""gli lousy, 


east an,l west through those s^^" I ' "'""' "' " '"" d'"™ 
nia line, &o., for "^ich t M 7, fl"""^, °' "- P^-.vlva 
'hem a liberal amount of gooS^ tril.'s °' 1° -'"""'' ™°"« 
announcing the c„ncIusion°to sell , t/"i P""™"'- '» "-"-V 
■This news about sellin. „ur ill '^ ' \° "''•''chopper said : - 
Six Nations, when thev h° .r „» h n '" " S'''"' ""'"^ "' 'he 

-e hope we shall , o, « ann LdT "" '"'' V"""^' ""> "«''=''°'-e 
How 'vas th,^rS , , 7°^^'/°""y°'''''''■™''«0•." 
^>atis,! Little duLltfT " ™P'' ''""''™'l'' <"P'»- 
gmdgingly and unw lli ttp Ld "th"™", f':''' """"^ ""« 
"Mened out, until his peo°pfe ^1^1; sh^ f ", "'''?' '"' ""'' 
sessions ! ' """^"y *om of then- broad pos- 

llerc, in the order of thm^ it i, 
hindrances that were int "Id ,1""" "'f ""^-^ '" ™"«^ -o 
ary me,asure, for the See o eTr""'^' ""'"^ ""^ P'"''™'"- 
lower valley of the MohavTater !'«""', T"'""' """' *= 
of England and France wJre ° ?„ ° '"°" ^ " ^''° ^''"8^ 

eareless in their .ran of ,e, l f""' Seogfaphers, or very 

'ed what they n^^er .osselTn'i" "I"" ™^'''- "^^'i- S™"" 
other's ri»hts and crelT? "^^ ""^' '""° °''<^'"i™ 'o each 

ny a tractof -un,r;d:Lti:r;dr:i:,::nd':'rT' '"""'- 

degrees of latitude north and S,„„l, j"S'-""''e"endtng several 
Paeitic ocean, east and ts, 'rcha*r 1 T^l "" ^""°"" '» "«' 
port on of this territory, granted by Irs I tf^:"""'''" °' » 

the Atia„„e,o,be Pacific ocean. Charts ri,„v, ' "'I '™" 

""^= - vor. a,,d Albany, .,. .■ovinii^:;^ Vos::":!^ 



i ii 

ii I 
1 - ! 
It , I 

the present State of New Jersey. The tract thus granted extended 
from a line twenty miles east of the Hudson river, westward, rather 
in lefinitsly, and from the Atlantic ocean north, to the south line of 
Canada, then a French province. 

By this collision of description, each of these colonies, (after- 
wards States.) laid claim to the jurisdiction as well as pre-emption 
right of the same land, being a tract sufficiently large to form several 
States. The State of New York, however, in 1781, and Massa- 
chusetts, in 17S5, ceded to the United States all their rights, either 
of jurisdiction or proprietorship, to all the territory lying west of a 
meridian, line run south from the westerly bend of Lake Ontario. 
Although the nominal amount in controversy, by these acts, was 
much diminished, it still left some nineteen thousand square miles 
of territory in dispute ; but this controversy was finally settled by a 
convention of commissioners, appointed by the parties, held at 
Hartford, Conn., on t!ie 16th day of December, 178G. According- 
to the stipulations entered into by the convention, Massachusetts 
ceded to the State of New York, all her claim to the government, 
sovereignty and jurisdiction of all Jhe territory lying west of the 
present east line of the Stale of New York ; and New York ceded 
to Massachusetts the pre-emption right, or fee of the land, subject 
to the title of natives, of all that part of the State of ISlew York 
lying west of a line, beginning at a point in the north line of Penn- 
sylvania, 82 .miles north of the north-east corner of said State, and 
running from thence due north through Seneca Lake, to Lake On- 
tario ; excepting and reserving to the State of 'New York, a strip 
ot land east of, and adjoining the eastern bank of Niagara river, 
one mile wide, and extending its whole length. The land, the pre- 
emption right of which was thus ceded, amounted to about six 
millions of acres. 

The other dilRculty alluded to, arose from the organization and 
operations of two joint Lessee Companies. The constitution of the 
state forbade the purchase of the fee in lands of the Indians, by 
mdividuals, reserving the right to the state alone. To evade this, 
and come in possession of the lands, an association of individuals 
•was organized in the winter of 1787, '8, who styled themselves the 
" New York Genesee Land Company." Tlie company was com- 
posed of some eighty or ninety individuals, mostly residing upon the 
Hudson; many of whom were wealthy and influential. The prin- 



cipal seat of the company was at Hudson. Dr. Caleb Benton 
John L,v„,g^„„, and Jared Coffin were the principal manager"' 
At the same time a branch company was or.tani7eH in r,„!. 
called the ..Niagara Genesee Land' cL,p.a„;-° TO consheTlf 
John Dntler, Samnel Street. John Powellf JoLson a Z2 a d 
Beruannn Barton ; all but the last n.amed. bein, residents of S„da 
Ths branch organization enabled the company to avail themselves 
of the then potent influence of Col. John Butler with the Sk 
Nation,, and the innuence of his .as, Benjamin Barton fhe 
father of the late B.mjamin Barton Jr. of Lewis, „™ an ac, 
ncmbcr of the assocktion. Soon after the close of the Revolution 
he had engaged m the Indian tr.ade, and as a drover from New 

N,,igara. By this means he had become well acquainted with the 
S™e as was adopted by them, and had taken while a youth Hen y 
OBail, the .son of Cornplanter, and placed him in a Loo ^7 

to r-Ne : YoTc " "'° '"""""r "■"^ "^''-=^' «'-- W°"^d 
o the New -i oik Company, several who had fcr a lon<r period been 

ndian traders. Thus organized, by such appliances a's f, .1 for 
™ded negotiations with the Indians, the company i„ Nov^be " 
1787 obtained a Lease for " nine hundred and ninety nine years " 
of all the lands of the Six Nations in the state of New Y'rl 'e^lt 
'r ™"' ■■—«»"-'. 'I'e Fiviiege of hunting, fishinT&c 
The annual rent was to be two thousand Spanish milled dollas- Tnd 
a bonus of 830,000 was also promised ' 

afl-IL nlT „ T'"""""""'- "'■ ^Pe'intendent of Indian 

temc 'the 1 o ' ■"" ?' '""' '" ""' '"'«»" """""T 'o conn- 
teract the unlawful proceed ngs of the Lessees n„ i,- . u 

reported that he had fallen in ^ith the cleA of' I . " '" 

60 miles of Tioga, and would proceed no farth;,. Th "the Set 
oa were exceedingly di,,satislied with Livingston, and vould „M 

That near IfiO families were If T.-r u ^".^^eating them, 
of P.,tfl . ;n III ^-'''' '"''^^ ^ consid'.rable number 

of cattl.. n order to form a settlement on lands- bn* were 
very n.uch at a ios. as the, had heard that the state tended 

/; It 



s n 


k .'' 

\rh ir 

i f 

that no settlement should be made." Governor Clinton issued a 
proclamation warning purchasers that the Lessee title would be 
annulled, and sent runners to all the Six Nations warning them of 
the traud that had been practiced against them. 

It was a formidable organization, embracing men of wealth and 
political influence, and those who, if their own plans could not be 
consummated, had an influence with the Indians that would enable 
them to throw serious obstacles in the way of legal negotiations with 
them lor their lands. The lease consummated, the next object of the 
association was to procure an act of the legislature sanctionincr the 
proceedings, and for that purpose, an attempt was made to intimidate 
by threats of dismemberment, and the formation of a new state' 
embracing all the leased territory. But the wliole matter was met 
with energy and promptness by Gov. George Clinton, who urged 
upon the Legislature measures to counteract the inte. ded mischief 
In March, 1788, an act was passed which authorised the Governor 
to disregard all contracts made with the Indians, not sanctioned by 
the state as null and void, and to cause all persons who had entered 
upon Indian lands under such contracts, to be driven off" by force 
and their buildings destroyed. Governor Clinton ordered William 
Colbraith, then Sheriff" of the county of Herkimer,(which then em- 
braced all of the present county of Herkimer and all west of it to 
the west bounds of the state,) to dispossess intruders and burn their 
dwelhncrs. A military force was called out, ai-d the orders strictly 
executed. One of the prominent settlers, and a co-operator of the 
Lessees, was taken to New York in irons, upon a charge of hinh 
treason. " 

Thus baffled, the managers of the two associations determined to 
retaliate and coerce a compromise, if they failed to carry out their 
original design, by meeting the State upon treaty grounds, where 
they could bring a stronger lobby than they could command for 
the halls of legislation. At the treaty, held in Fort Stanwix in 
September, 1778, with the Onondagas, for the purchase of their 
lands by the State, Governor Clinton took the field in pci-son, back- 
ed by all the official influence he could command ; and yet he 
found for a while, extreme difficulty in effecting any thing Little 
opposition from the Lessees showed itself openly, but it was there 
with Its strongest appliances. In after years, when preferring a 
claim against the " New York Genesee Company," in behalf of th« 


" Ningara Genesee Compuny," a prominent individua. among the 
c a^mants, urged that the Canada company had kept the Indians 
back from the treaties; and when they could no longer do so had 
ononeocca.ion, baffled Governor CHmon for nearlyfhree :;et 

ZT'l' TTl- T' ""' ""'^^ '^' ^''''' ^'^^ P^^^^^^ed itself of 
the lands of the Six Nations east of the pre-emption line. The les- 
sees, seeing httle hopes-of accomplishing their designs, finally peti- 
tion d the legislature for relief; and after considerable dday, in 
179J, an act mas passed, authorizing the commissioners of the land 

£: ?r t'r ^'^"'"^ ^"^ ^^^^^^ --^^ unappropriated 
lands of the State, a tract equal to ten miles square. The allot- 
ment was finally made in township number three, of the " Old Mill- 
tary tract." Thus terminated a magnificent scheme, so far as the 
fetate was concerned, which contemplated the possession of a vast 
domain, and perhaps, as has been alleged, a separate State organi- 
zation It mark, an important era in the early history of our State. 
The influence brought to bear upon the Indians from Canada, by 
which the extraordinary lease was obtained, was stimulated by 
the prospect of individual gain; but may we not well --nfer- with- 
out an implication of the many respectable individuals who com- 
posed the association in this State to that extent -that it looked 
forward to future events; the maintenance of British dominion, 
which was afterwards asserted and reluctantly yielded. It was 
ong after th.., before the potent influence which the Johnsons, But- 
ler and Brant had carried with them, even in their retreat to Cana- 
da, was counteracted. They were yet constantly inculcating the 
Idea among the Six Nations, that they were under British dominion, 
he Senecas at least. What could better have promoted this pre- 
tension, than such a scheme, especially if it contemplated the ex- 
treme measure of a dismemberment of this State -such as was 

tions? The calculations of the "New York Genesee Company" 
may have been circumscribed by the boundaries of loss and ^ain • 
that of their associates and co-operators may have taken a vvider' 
range, and embraced national interest, to which it was wedded by 
les even stronger if possible, than motives of gain and private 
emolument As late as November. 1793, James Vadsworth and 
Oliver Phelps, received a circular, signed by John Livingston and 
Caleb Benton, as officers of a convention purporting to have been' 




< I 



held at Geneva, urging the people to hold town meetings and sign 
petitions for a new state to be set off from New York, and to em- 
brace the counties of Otsego, Tioga, Herkimer and Ontario. 
^ Early in the spring of 1788, another council with the Six Na- 
tions was contemplated by the New York commissioners. In an- 
swer to a message from them, requesting the Indians to fix upon a 
time, some of the chiefs answered in a writing, that it must be 
" after the corn is hoed." Massachusetts, not having then parted 
with its pre-emption right wes. of Senoca Lake, Gov. Clinton 
wrote to Gov. Hancock to secure his co-operation in counter- 
acting the designs of the lessees. The general court declared the 
leases "null and void ;" but Gov^ernor Hancock, in his reply to the 
letter, stated that Massachusetts, on account of the " embarrassed 
situation of the Commonwealth," was about to comply with the 
proposals of some of her citizens, for the purchase of the pre-emp- 
tion right. 

The first of September was fixed as the period for the treaty, and 
Fort Schuyler was designated as tiie place. A ctive preparations 
for it were going on through the summer, under the general super- 
vision of John Taylor, who had the zealous co-operation of Gov. 
Clinton. In all the villages of the Six Nations, the lessees had 
their agents and runners, or Indian traders in their interest. Even 
the Rev. Mr. Kirkland had been either deceived or corrui)ted by 
them, and had played a part inconsistent with his profession, and 
with his obligations to Massachusetts. It was represented to Gov. 
Clinton that, in 'preaching to the Indians, he had advised them to 
lease to the New York and Canada companies, as their territory 

Rote.— After the arrangement with the State, there was a lont,' coiitroverHv be- 
tween tJie two associations in settling tlieir affairs : in tlic course of wliich, nnicli of 
tlie secret machinery of botli wtLS developed. An old adage was pretty well illustra- 
ted. It no wliere appears that any thing was paid to tlie Indians in their national or 
conlederate capacities ; thougli a bonus of twenty thousand dollars was stii)ulatetl to 
be paid in addition to tlie annual rents. The Canada company refused at one tiineto 
pay an installment into this general fund, alleging as a reason, the non-iiavment of 
this twenty thousand dollars due the Indians. But yet, it appears that it was a nretty 
expensive operation ; the chiefs who favored the scheme and the agents who operated 
upon them, must have been well paid ; "presents " must have been as lavish as in the 
palmiest days of British and Indian negotiations. Remonstrances that were i)resented 
to the Legislature oi this State, set forth that "secret and unwarrantable means had 
been employed by the les.sees in making their arrangements with some of the In- 
* T" it'on'' "leetingof the "New York Genesee Company," at Hudson, in Sep- 
tem jcr, 1(89, llie aggregate expenditures, as liquidated, liad been over twelve tho'i- 
sanil pounds, N. L. currency. It will be necessary to refer to this subject aLmiii, ill 
connectwu with Indiau treaUes that foUowcd, and Clmrles Williamson. 



was so wide, he could not makeh 

is voice heard to its full 

Gxtpnt ' 

h treaty held at Kanadesaga. when the Lease was procured, he had 
acted efficiently for the Lessees. To counteract thosestronc infl,, 
ences, agents and runners were put in requisition bfSf 
HurpeTcr''' '""^ during the summer, the poor Indians had but' 

The preparations for the embassy to the Indian country, at Al- 
bany and New York, were formidable ones. A similar expedition 
now to feanta Fee, or Oregon, would be attended with less of pre- 
hmmary arrangements. A sloop came up from New York with In- goods, stores for the expedition, marquees and tents, specie for 
purcnase money, (which was obtained with much trouble,) those 
^ the board of commissioners and their associates, who resided in 
iNew Yoi-k, and many who were going to attend the treaty from 
motives of curiosity ; among whom was Count Monsbiers. the then 
French minister, and his sister. 

The board of commissioners and their retinue, started from Al- 
bany on the 23d of August, (the goods and baggage going up the 
Mohawk in batteaux that had been built for the ;urpose,) and did 
not arrive at Fort Schuyler until the 28th. 

A wild romantic scene was soon presented. The veteran soldier, 

tT ?Tr' P"'^'^ ^'' "^''■^"^^' '-^"d ^«« ««"^"<^'^ the General 
ns It he had headed a military instead of a civil expedition. Arroncr 
his associates in the commission, and his companions, were m'any 
ho had with h.m been conspicuous in the Revolution, and wer^ 
the leading men of the then young State. They were surrounded 
by the camp fires of the numerous representatives of the Six Na 
tions, amounting to thousand.s, who had been attracted to the spot 
some from an interest hey folt in the negotiations, but far the lar-' 
ges proportion ot them had been attracted from their scattered 
WiMerness homes, by the hopes and promises of feasts and carous- 
als. Indian traders from all their localities in New York and 
panada, with their showy goods and trinkets, and "firewater." were 
upon the ground with the mixed objects of a sale of their .oods 
when money was paid to the Indians, and the e.^pousal either of' 
^.e State interests or that of the Lessees. Some of the prominent 
Lessees from Albany, Hudson and Canada had preceded the Gov- 
ernor, and were in the crowd, secrelly and insidiouslv nndnavorin-. 

i ft 

ti 'i - ' 

f M ' 








to nvnrt the ol^ects of .l,e council. Irritated by dl he had heard 

pnnc ,a, John L,v,„gs,on, of •■Livingston Manor" was present 
-with the eoncunenee of his associates. Gov. Chnton "look the 
r spo„s,b,hty." as did Gen. .lackson a. Nov Orleans, and orde cd 

Ic^Jr ,"=■ T''^'™ ™ "'-"h™-." »"d •Totietothed 
tance of forty miles from Fort Schuyler 

After this, Governor Clinton organised a species of court, or 

hSnf 'r«"'°"'"" '"*■'■""• '"■""■'" "-aders, runners in the 
merest of b„.h State and Lessees, took afHdavits of all that had 

schene ol bnbery, threats, mtimidation and deception, practiced 
upon the Indians. Finding that , he Seuecas were hod,,, back 
from he treaty, and that many of the head n,e„ of the CavuJas and 

^I^jr ?""'■ -'"-™-S'l-. there ,v.,s a counte' 
gathe„ng at Ivauadesaga, messenge,-s were sent there, who found 
Hu Benton s„,To„„Jed by Indians and his agents, dealing out liquet' 
and goods, anddehveringspeeches, in which he assured the Indian 
that ,f they went to Fort Schuyler ,hc Governor of New York 
would ether cheat them out of .heir lands, or failing in that, wou d 
fall upon them w„h an armed fo,ce. Many of the Indian w^ c 
undeceived, and finally induced to go to For. Schuyle,-, wi, nrtey 
had lecovered from a state of beastly intoxication Ihev had been 
kept ,„ by Dr. Benton and other agents of the Lessees." Such h d 

wIrJsW f?^'' '^"' """">■ "'^ *^"'' ^^1"=" '^coming sober 

we esck andu„.,blc to reach For. Schuyler, and a Cayuga chief, 
Sp ce Garner d,od on the road. When thcy were en'eamped a 
S vyace, twlve m,les east of Seneca Lake, on .he eas.en, .rail 
wen, r ■ " '^J^r ''."■'■"' ■■ a' C-^, in .he in.erest of .he Lessee 
wen. there, and by mtimida.ions, .he use of rum, and pro.nises ol" 
presen.s, induced .hem .o .urn back romisesol 

JrVir,™"' ",",'"■ "'■ ^""""'^^ """ ""^ ^'"■"™' Nations 
ot tl e council. Governor Chnton addressed the Ononda^as inform 
tng them minutely of the positions in which .ho Six Na". oVsto"; 
in refei-ence .0 .heir lands; .hat they were theirs .o d ", o o 
when .hey pleased, bu. .hat to protect them from frauds, hi a" 
had reserved .0 itself the right .„ purchase whenever hey wee 


disposed to sell. lie told them that the acts of the Lessees, were 
he acts "disobedient children " of the State, and that thev were 
a cheat and at the same time informing them that as commis- 
sioners of the State, he and his associates were there prepared to 
purchase. He cautioned them to keep sober, as there were stran- 
gers present "who will laugh at us if while this business is in a^i- 
tation, any of us should be found disguised." "After the business 
IS completed,' said the Governor. " wo can indulge ourselves in 
innocent mu-th and friendship together." Eiack Cap, in behalf o^ 
the Onondagas. replied, assuring the Governor that the Onondar^as 
who ly disapproved of the proceedings with the Lessees, had made 
up then- nunds to sell to the State, but wanted a little farther time 
1.0 a k among themselves. On the 12th, the treaty was concluded 
and the deed of cession of the lands of the Onondagas, some res 
ervatums excepted, was executed. The consideration was 81000 
"1 liand and an annuity of $500 forever. After the trelty wa! 
conc,,ae , additional provisions were distributed, presents of 'go d 
made and congratulatory speeches interchanged. " As the business 
on wluc we had met. said the Governor, is now hapnilv accom sh 
ed. we shall cover up the council fire at this time i!;d Uake a dH k 
andsmoke our pyes together, and devote the remainder of the day 
to decent mirth. J 

It should be observed, that this council was called for the double 
purpose of perpetuating friendship with the Six Nations, ndpu 
chasing ands. Though New York had ceded the p e-emron 
ngh to the lands of the Senecas. to Massachusetts, still' t^^r 
s.rab e t at the Senecas should be present. Most of their chiel 
and head n-.en were kept away, but about eighty young Seneca 

the old Foit. The governor addressed them, distributed amon. 
hem some provisions and liquor, and desired them to go back to 
their nation and report all they had seen, and warn their peop e 
nganist having any thing to do with the Lessees. A young Seneca 
warrior in his reply said :-" We had to struggle hard ^ break 
through he opposition that was made to ourcomh^down, by some 
of your disobedient children. We will now tell ^^u how ^hin^s 

really are amonjj us 

The voice of the birds,* and proud, strong 

^«, and falsehoods, were caUed by the Senecas. "tZZ^Z^^^^, 

>i ■ 



f ■, 




!•# ' 

words uttered by some of our own people at Kanadesaga, overcome 
tlie sachems and turned them back, after they had twice promised 
to come down with us." 

Negotiations with the Oneidas followed : — Gov. Clinton made a 
speech to them to the same purport of the one he liad delivered to 
the Onondagas. This was replied toby "One-yan-ha, alias Beach 
Tree, commonly called the " Quarter Master." who said an answer 
to the speech should be made after his people had counselled to- 
gether. The next day, just as the council had assembled, word 
came that a young warrior was found dead in Wood Creek. It 
was concluded after som.e investigation, that he had been drowned ac- 
cidentally, in a state of intoxication. Tiie commissioners insisted 
upon going on with the treaty, but the Indians demanded a postpone- 
ment for funeral observances. At the burial, A-gwel-en-ton-gwas, 
alias, Domine Peter, or Good Peter, made a pathetic harrangue! 
eloqueu. in some of its passages. It was a temperance, but not 
a total abstinence discourse. 

The funeral over, the business of the council was resumed. Good 
Peter replied to the speech of the Govemor: — He reminded him 
of a remark made by him at Fort Herkimer in 1785, in substance, 
that he should not ask them for any more lands. The chief recapitula- 
ted in a long speech, with surprising accuracy, every point in the 
Governor's speech, and observed that if any thing had been omitted, 
it was because he had not "the advantage of "the use of letters." 
He then made an apology, that he was li^tigued, and wished to sit 
down and rest ; and that in the meantime, according to ancient 

Note.— The backwoods srnntnal and temporal adviser, insisted that his people 

must abide by the resrdufi.m of tludr chief, widcli forbid anv of tliein askin- the Gov? 

emor or connms.sioner.s for rum, but only to take it ^^hvu it%vas offered and measured 

out to them. "We are n,,t fit " said he, "to prescribe as ro this .-Mtick.. Some who 

re p-eat drinkers have often given in botli women and eiiildren in their list ad 

nvn tor the whole company ,is warri(,r,., and tliereby inc.vased the quantity beyo d 
all reasonable bounds. Let the Governor therefore determine, if he Les fit^to -ie a 
glass mthemorn.n- and at noon, aiul then at night ; and if anv remain aftei-eaclt 
one IS sen-ed, let it be taken off fhe ground. Thi.^ was the ancient custom at AlW 

n '. T *;r'"f^',V'-«- ^^i"'" ■•! «'-^>^'t ■"""^■^■'' of Indians were a,.^embled on 
th. hill above the city. The rum was brought there and each one drank a -la^- .oik 
V as satisfied. No trie ndian who had the spirit of a man, was eve no vn at th 

ay t() run to a commissioner and demand a bottle of rum, on the ground that he wis 
m'suc ."r\""' .-.nother too, for tlie .eason, which is the practice now-a-day 
nc such great men wer j known in ancient li; p])v times " ^ 

I Good IVler's temperance e.xliortation, is similar to that of the Scotch divine • - 

dri dSmS"'n"'' «"H«''-. ""'» '^ little on g.anging to bed; but dilina bo "drau,; 

, overcome 

on made a 
elivered to 
lias Beach 
an answer 
[nselled to- 
)led, word 
Creek. It 
■owned ac- 
rs insisted 
L postpone- 
i, but not 

?d. Good 
nded liim 
)int in the 
n omitted, 
f letters." 
bed to sit 
o ancient 

his people 
lis: the Gov- 
k1 iiicasured 

■Some wlio 
fir list, and 
itjty beyond 
• lit to give a 

I after each 

II at Albany 
v-eiiibled oil 

a i(liis.< and 
own at that 
that he was 
ow-a-days ; 

1 divine : — 
•f a niorniri, 
i be "drum. 



custom, anoth^^r speaker would arise and raise the spirit of their de- 
ceased sachem, the Grasshopper. But before he sat down, he in- 
formed the Governor, that the man bearing the name of Oe-dat-segh- 
ta, is the first name know in their national council, and had long 
been publised throughout the confederacy ; that his friend, the Grass- 
hopper, was the counsellor for the tribe, to whom that name be- 
longed, and that therefore, they replaced the Grasshopper with this 
lad, whom you are to call Kan-y-a-dal-i-go ; presentiiig the young 
lad to the Governor and Commissioners ; and that until he arrives 
at an age to qualify him to transact business personally, in council, 
their friend, Hans Jurio, is to bear the name of 0-jis-tal-a-be, alias 
Grasshopper, and to be counsellor for this young man and his clan, 
until that period. 

The Governor made a speech, in which he disclaimed any desire 
on the part of the State to purchase their lands; bu', strenuously 
urged upon them that the State would not tolerate th purchase or 
leasing by individuals. He told them that when they chose to sell 
the State would buy more for their good than anything else, as the 
State then had more land than it could occupy with people. 

Good Peter followed, said the Governor's speech was excellent, 
and to their minds. " We comprehend every word of your speech, 
it is true indeed ; for we see you possessed of an extensive territo- 
ry, and but here and there a smoke." " But," said he, " we, too, 
have disorderly people in our nation ; you have a keg here, and 
they have their eyes upon it, and nothing can divert them from the 
pursuit of it. While there is any part of it left, they will have their 
ey^^ upon it and seek after it, till they die by it ; and if one dies, 
there is another who will not be deterred by it, will still continue to 
seek after it. It is just so with your people. As long as any spot 
of our excellent land remains, they will covet it, and will never 
rest till they possess it." He said it would take him a long time to 
tell the Governor " all his thoughts and contemplations ; they were 
extensive ; my mind is perplexed and pained, it labors hard." In a 
short digression, he spoke of the Tree of Peace, and expressed his 
fears that, " by-and-by, some twig of this beautiful tree will be 
broken off. The wind seems always to blow, and shake this belov- 
ed tree." Before sitting down. Good Peter observed that they had 
all agreed to place the business of the council, on their part, in the 
hands of two of their people, Col. Louis and Peter Ot-se-quette, 






' would be their " mouth and their ears." * There was, a 
pointed, as their advisers, a committee of principal chiefs. 

The negotiation went on for days ; speeches were interchanged • 
propositions were made and rejected, until finally a deed of ces'^ion 
was agreed upon and executed by the chiefs. It conveyed all their 
lands, making reservations for their own residence around the Onei- 
da castle, or principal village, and a number of other ones 
for their own people, and such whites as had been their interpret- 
ers, favorite traders, or belonged to them by adoption. The con 
sideration was $2,000 in money, $2,000 in clothing and other 
goods, $1,000 m provisions, $500 in money for the erection of a 
saw-mill and grist-mill on their reservation, and an annuity of "six 
hundred dollars in silver," for ever. Congratulatory addresses fol 
lowed ; the Governor making to the Oneidas a parting a<ldress, re- 
plete with good instruction and flxtherly kindness; the Onei.las re- 
plying, assuring him of the satisfaction of their people with all that 
had taken place; and thanking the Governor and his associate 
commissioners for the fairness of their speeches and their conduct 
It would be difficult to find a record of diplomacy between civilize ' 
nations more replete throughout with dignity, decorum and ability, 
than is that of this protracted treaty. 

After dispatching the Rev. Mr. Kirkland (who had been present 
throughout the treaty, anrl materially aided the commissioners- 
thus making full amends for the mischief he had helped to produce 
in connection with the long lease,) to the Cayugas and Senecas 
charged with the mission of informing them of all that had trans- 
pired, the Governor and his retinue set out on their return to Al- 
bany. The council had continued for twenty-five days. 

The next meeting of the commissioners was convened at Albany 
December 15, 1788. Governor Clinton read a letter from Peter 
Ryckman and Seth Reed, who were then residents at Kanadesaga ; 
Reed at the Old Castle, and Ryckman upon the Lake shore. The 

C.,]. Loms was a half blood, FroMch a.ul Oneida. IIo had held a co.nmisfliou un 
iZnJl- ^•^'."/r';/"/''r .I^'^^'^'I"fi""- I'"t^''-„ott,e, in a speech 1," "ado^", th^ 
rZTl' «'{"'^'"^tl/«l»%lj"«t returned from Franee, whero ho had'bcen take nd edu- 
cated by La Fayette. He .aid that ^vhon he arrive.l in France, he "was nake .m 
the Marquis clad liun, receiving and tre.-itin- nini with great kindness '' that f, a 

^.hditr^rfr' ""^^ ",'V'^"- '^"'^'^'^ *'<■ l<"'>wl'><l.e^lo.-ed i., .n us , I he 
felt distressed at the miserable situation of his countrymen ;" that after fo r y oars^ 

;'^^See SS:!:^!^^ ''' ''''''-' '''' '^'"'^^'^^^^ -^' reformi,i,^thL^'"^ 

IS, also, ap- 


rchanged ; 

of cession 

!H all their 

the Onei- 

lauer ones 


The con 

and other 

!tion of a 

ty of " six 

resses fol 

dress, re- 

leidas re- 

[h all that 


■ conduct. 

1 civilize ' 

id ability, 

n present 

issioners ; 
> produce 
ad trans- 
rn to Al- 

; Albany, 
>m Peter 
idesaga ; 
•e. ^[le 

iissiou un- 
Kulo in the 
II and t'du- 
inkcd, and 
tliat for a 
mind, he 
iiur years' 



letter was forwarded by " Mr. Lee and Mr. Noble," who had been 
residing for the summer at Kanadesaga. The writers say to the 
Governor, tiiat the bearers of the letter will detail to him all that 
has transpired in their locality ; and add, that if required, they can 
induce the Cayugas and Senecas to attend a council. The Rev. 
Mr. Kirkiand gave, in writing, an account of his mission. He 
stated that on arriving at Kanadesaga, he ascertained that to keep 
the Cayugas back from the treaty at Fort Schuyler, two of the 
principal lessees and their agents, had " kept them in a continued 
state of intoxication ibr three weeks;" that "Dr. B. and Col. M. 
had between twenty and thirty riflemen in arms for twenty-four 
hours ; and gave out severe threats against P. Ryckman and Col. 
Heed, for being enemies to their party, and friends to the govern- 
ment, in persuading the Indians to attend the treaty at Fort 
Schuyler." Mr. Kirkiand stated that he had been as far as Nia- 
gara, and seen Col. Butler ; and that at the Seneca village, on Buf- 
falo Creek, he had seen Shen-dy-ough-gwat-tCj the " second man 
of influence among the Senecas;" and Farmer's Brother, alias 
'• Ogh-ne-wi-ge-was ;" and that they had become disposed to treat 
with the State. Before the Board adjourned, it was agreed to ad- 
dress a letter to Reed and Ryckman, asking them to name a day on 
which they could procure the attendance of the Cayugas and 
Senecas, at Albany. Reed and Ryckman, on tho icuc^ytion of the 
letter, despatched James Manning Reed with an answer, saying 
that they would be at Albany, with the Indians, on the 23d ot 
January ; and adding, that the lessees kept the Indians " so continu- 
ally intoxicated with liquor, that it is almost impossible to do any 
thing with them." 

It was not until the 11th of Febuary however, that Mr. Ryck- 
man was enabled to collect a sufficient number of Indians, and reach 
Albany. Several days were spent in some preliminary proceedings, 
and in waiting for the arrival of delegations that were on the way. 
On the 14th, James Bryan and Benjamin Birdsall, two of the 
Lessees appeared before the commissioners and delivered up the 
"long leases" that had occasioned so much trouble. On the 19th 

Note.— Gov. Clinton and many of the commissioners resided in New York. As an 
illustration of the then slow lassage down tlie Hudson, they resolved at Albany to 
charter a sloop, and tlius be enabled to settle their accounts uud arrange their papers 
on their way down the rirer. 

! n 


rnELPs AND gorham's purchase. 

the council was opened with the Cayucras, many Senecas, Onon- 
dagas and Oneidas, being present. ' Good Peter in behalf of the 
Cayugas, made a speech. He said his brothers, the Cayugas and 
Senecas had " requested him to be their mouth." As upon another 
occasion his speech abounded in some of the finest figures of speech 
to be found in any preserved specimens of Indian eloquer. ■ In 
allusion to the conduct of the Lessees, and a long series ofprcjedent 
difficulties the Indians had had with the whites, he observed : — 
" Let us notwithstanding, possess our minds in peace ; we can see 
but a small depth into the heart of man ; we can only discover what 
comes from his tongue." Speaking of the relations that used to 
exist between his people and the old colony of New York, he said, 
they "used to kindle a council fire, the smoke of which reached the' 
heavens, and around which they sat and talked of peace." He 
said in reference to the blessings of peace, and the settled state of 
things that was promised by fixing the Indians upon their Reserva- 
tions, under the protection of the state : — "Our little ones can now 
go with leisure to look for fish in the streams, and our warriors to 
hunt for wild beasts in the woods." Present at the council, 
was a considerable number of their women, ^vhom Good Peter 
called "Governesses," and gave the reasons why they were there.— 
"The Rights of women," found in him an able advocate : — "Our 
ancestors considered it a great tran.^gression to reject the counsel 
of the , women, particularly the Governesses; thev considered them 
the mistresses of the soil. They said, who 'brings us forth? 
Who cultivates our lands ? Who kindles our fires, and boils our 
pots, but the women ? Our women say let not the tradition of the 
lathers, with respect to women, be disiegarded ; let them not be des- 
pised ; God is their maker." 

Several other speeches intervening, the Governor answered the 
speech of Good Peter; — He reviewed the bargain the Indians had 
made with the Lessees, and told them that if carried out it would 
be to their ruin; explained the laws of the state, and their tendency 
to protect them in the enjoyment of a suflicient (juantity of land for 
their use ; and to guard them against peculation and fraud. In re- 
plying to that part of Good Peter's speech in reference to the 
women and their rights, the venerable Governor was in a vein of 
gallantry, elociucntly conceding the immunities that belonged to 
the " mothers of mankind." He told them they siiould have re- 


as, Onon- 
lalf of the 
^'ugas and 
3n another 
I of speech 
ier,r In 
served : — 
.'e can see 
over what 
t used to 
:, he said, 
ached the 
ce." He 
d state of 
5 can now 
arriors to 
! council, 
'od Peter 
e there. — ■ 
: — " Our 
le counsel 
Jred them 
IS forth ? 
hoils our 
m of the 
t be dcs- 

/cred the 
lians had 
it would 
"land for 
In re- 
} to the 
vein of 
>nged to 
lave re- 


servations " large enough however prolific they might be ; even if 
they ^should increase their nation to its ancient stao and num- 
bers." He apologised to the dusky sisterhood by saying that he 
"was advanced in years, unaccustomed to address their sex in pub- 
lic ;" and therefore they " must excuse the imperfections of his 

Other speeches, and days of negotiation followed. On the 25th 
of February, all the preliminaries being settled, the Cayugas ceded 
to the state all of their lands, excepting a large reservation of 100 
square miles. The consideration was 8500 in hand, .$1,G38 in June 
following, and an annuity of 8500 for ever. 

In a congratulatory address, after the treaty was concluded. Gov. 
Clinton recapitulated all of its terms, and observed : — "Brothers 
and sisters ! when you reflect that you hod parted with the whole of 
your country, (in allusion to the long lease,) without reservin<- a 
spot to lay down, or kindle a fire on ; and that you had disposed^'of 
your lands to people whom you had no means to compel to pay 
what they had promised, you will be persuaded that vour brothers 
and sisters whom you have Mt at home, and your and^their children 
will have reason to rejoice at the covenant you have now made' 
which not only saves you from impending ruin, but restores you to 
peace and security." 

The three treaties, that had thus been concluded, had made the 
state the owners of the soil of the Military Tract, or the principal 
amount of territory now included in the counties of Cayuga, Onon- 
daga, Seneca, Tompkins, Cortland, and parts of Osw.-o ant? Wayne 
Other cessions followed until the large reservations were either 
ceded entirely away, or reduced to their present narrow limits. 

The deed of cession of the Cayugas stipulated that the state 
should convey to their " adopte.i child," Peter Rvckman, " whom 
they desire shall reside near them and assist them," a tract on the 

iin;iti.r,.,n..M( tl,.. ,v,t,„,f „..,., : i , '..■?", *^"S '.'! *-" "^^''' J?.V wnlc, or some jilier 

..wiuTslup, as i, was art.r v ' ■ 4'^vn ,' ,\l "i ' l"'"-^'',"l'f'"" I'ne. but their 

.^u.UL- promises on tlie nart of Hv,:!.-,..:, '^'^^ ""^ Vr.ArMy had rctcrouoc U< 

Bumu promises on tlie part <>f iiyckmau. 





west side of Seneca Lake, which should contain sixteen thousand 
acres, the location being designated. 

Soon after the treaty of Albany, the superintendency of Indian 
affairs principally devolved upon John Taylor, as the agent of the 
board of commissioners. Although the treaty had seemed amica- 
ble and satisfactory, a pretty strong faction of all three of the na- 
tions treated with, had kept back, and became instruments for the 
use of designing whites. Although the Lessees had surrendered 
heir leases they did not cease, tiirough their agents and Indian 
traders in their interest to make trouble, by creating dissatisfaction 
among tlie Indians ; probably, with the hopes of coercing the State 
to grant them remuneration. Neither Brant, Red Jacket, Farmer's 
Brother, and in fact but fe^y of the influential chiefs had attended 
the reaties. Hnn-assed for a long period, a bone of contention, 
first between the French and the English, then between the Enc- 
ish and colonists of New York during the Revolution, and lastl^, 
between the State of New York and the Lessees, the Six Nations 
had become cut up into contending factions, and their old land 
marks of government and laws, the ancient well defined immuni- 
ties of then- chiefs, obliterated. Dissatisfaction, following the trea- 
ties, found ready and willing promoters in the persons of the cov- 
ment ofhcers of Canada, and the loyalists who had sought reflige 
there, dunng the border wars of the Revolution. When the first at 
tempt was made to survey the lands, a message was received by Gov 
Clinton, from some of the malcontents, threatening resistance but 
an answer Irom the Governor, stating the consequence of such re- 
sistance, intimidated them. At an Indian council at Niagara. Col 
Butler said the Oneidas were "a poor despicable set of Indians, 
who had sold all their country to the Governor of New York, and 
had dealt tre'ticherously with their old friends." 

When the period approached for paying the first annuitv, the 
Onondagas through an agent, represented to Gov. Clinton; that 
hey had '• received four strings of wampum from the Senecas, for- 
biddmg their going to Fort Stanwix to receive the money ; an<l in- 
forming them that the Governor of Quebec, wanted their lands • 
Sir John, (.Johnson, it is presumed,) wanted it ; Col. Butler wants' 
the Cayuga s lands ; and the commanding officer of Fort Niagara 
wants the Seneca's lands." The agent in behalf of the Govei^or 
admonished them to "keep their minds in peace." assured them of 


riiELPs AXD gorham's pueciiase. 



of Indian 
;ent of the 
ed 'imica- 
of the Ha- 
lts for the 
nd Indian 
; the State 
, Farmer's 
1 attended 
the Eng. 
and lastly, 
s Nations 

old land 
1 immuni- 
l the trea- 

the p,ov- 
^ht refuge 
le first at- 
d by Gov. 
:ance, but 
r such re- 
gara, Col. 
f Indians, 
Yovk, and 

luity, the 
ton, that 
ecas, for- 
; and in- 
sir lands ; 
31' wants 
them of 

the Governor's protection; and told them the Lessees were the 
cause of all their trouble. 

The Cayugas sent a message to the Governor, informing him 
that they were " threatened with destruction, even with total exter- 
mniation. The voice comes from the west ; its sound is terrible ; 
it bespeaks our death. Our brothers the Cayugas, and Onondagas 
are to share the same fate." They stated that the cause of com- 
plaint was that they had " sold their lands without consulting the 
western tribes. This has awakened up their resentment to such a 
degree, that they determined in full council, at Buffalo creek, that 
we shall be deprived of our respective reserves, with our lives in 
the bargain. This determination of the western tribes, our Gov- 
ernor may depend upon. It has been communicated to the super- 
intendent of Indian aOliirs at Quebec, who as we are told, makes no 
objections to their wicked intentions, hut rather countenances them." 
They appealed to the Governor to fulfill his promises of protection. 
Replies were made, in which the Indians were told they should 
be protected. As one source of complaint was, that some Cayugas 
who resided at Bufialo creek, had not been paid their share of The 
purchase money. The Governor advised that they should make a 
iau- distribution ; and warned them against the Lessees, and all 
other malign influences. 

Among the mischief makers, was a Mr. Peter Penet, a shrewd, 
artful Frenchman, who had been established among the Oneidas 
as a trader ; and whom Gov. Clinton had at first favored and em- 
ployed in Indian negotiations. But ingratiating himself in the good 
will of the natives, he became ambif'ous, represented himself as 
the ambassador of France, as the iriend of La Fayette, charged by 
liim with looking to the interest of the Indians ; and finally, got the 

^OTK.— Iho pnrt tlint tlio S<>n(>rns m>ro jicrsuadcd to tnko in promotinrf thrso om- 
luiTjwsnu.nts wii. o.l,.,nni,'ly inconsiHtciit. 'I'liuy 1,;; I sold a part of thfir lands to Mr 
J lK'Ii)s tlic lidl bctorc, without oon8idtin;,'otluT nations, to sav nothini,' of their havin-r 
ronswiti'd to tho "loase" which was afar worso harsrain than thoso nia<lo hy tlic 
^^tato Jiut tlio mam wonioters of tho tronblus, wore tho Lossets and the British 
ai,'onts ; tlic latter ot whom, wore sourod by tho result of Iho Uevolulion, and were vet 
looknii,' to ISntish re-possession of all Westei'n, and a part of Middle New 
\ork. Ill all this matter Ihoeomluet of Brant, did not eorrespon-l with his Pvneral 
reputation tor fairness ami honesty. He helped t.. fan tho flames of discontent while 
nt the same time ho was almost upon )iis own hooks, tryinj,' to sell to th(^ Stnto the 
remnant of the Mohawk's lands. Interferiiifr between' the Sl^ato and the Indiana 
ho ijot some dissatisfied chiefs to join him m an insolent letter to the Governor' 
which was replied U< wiiha wiod deal of severity of laii''iia!'o. 
8 ^ a o 


•' ' IJi 


h I 



promises of large land cessions. Thwarted mainly in his designs, 
he became mischievous, and caused much trouble. ' 

A mere skeleton has thus been given of the events connected 
with the extinguishment of Indian titles, and the measures prelimi- 
nary to the advancement of settlement westward, after the Revo- 
lution. It was only after a hard struggle, much of perplexity and 
embarrassment, that the object was accomplished. For the honor 
of our whole country, it could be wished, that all Indian negotia- 
tions and treaties, had been attended with as little of wrong, had 
been conducted as fairly as were those under the auspices and 
general direction of George Clinton. No where has the veteran 
warrior and statesman, left better proof of his sterling integrity 
and ability, than is furnished by the records of those treaties. In 
no case did he allow the Indians to be deceived, but stated to them 
from time to time, with unwearied patience, the true conditions of 
the bargains they were consummating. The policy he aimed at was 
to open all of the beautiful domain of western New York, for sale 
and settlement — to prepare the way for inevitable destiny — and 
at the same time secure the Indians in their possessions ; give them 
liberal reservations; and extend over them as a protection, the 
strong arms of the State. 

The treaties for lands, found the Six Nations in a miserable con- 
dition. They had warred on -the side of a losing party, for long 
years, the field and the chase had been neglected ; they were suffer^ 
ing for food and raiment. Half famished, they flocked to the 
treaties, and were fed and clothed. One item of expense charged 
in the accounts of the tr.aty at Albany in 1789, was for horses p'^aid 
for, that the Indians had killed and eaten, on their way down. For 
several years, in addition to the amount of provisions distributed to 
them at the treaties, boat loads of corn were distributed amoncr them 
by the Stale.* ° 

In tracing the f)rogress of settlement westward, it will be neces- 
sary to give a brief account of the disposition the State made of lands 
acquired of the Six Nations, bordering upon the Genesee Country. 
They constituted what is known as the Military Tract. To protect 

Ihe yoars 1789, '90, is supposed to have been a period of m-eat srarcitv Tlie 
U'cord of lepslatiou shows that large anioimts of provisions were paid for "by the 
hUite, avid distributed, not only among the Indians, but among the white inhabitant* 


is designs, 

3 prelimi- 
he Revo- 
2xity and 
the honor 

'ong, had 
^ices and 
! veteran 

aties. In 
i to them 
iitions of 
cd at was 
i, for sale 
ly — and 
five them 
tion, the 

able con- 
, for long 
re suffer- 
d to the 
>rses paid 
vn. For 
ibuted to 
»ng them 

e ncccs- 

of lands 


) protect 

•ity. Tlie 
for by tlie 


the frontiers of this State from the incursions of the British and their 
Indian allies, the State of New York, thrown upon its own resour- 
ces, in 1779 and 'fcO, enlisted two regiments to serve three years, 
unless sooner discharged. They were to be paid and clothed at 
the expense of the United States ; but the Statt pledged to them a 
liberal bounty in land. To redeem this pledge, as soon as Indian 
titles were extinguished, the surveyor General was instructed to 
survey these bounty lands and prepare them for the location of 
warrants. The survey was completed in 1790. It embraced about 
two million eight hundred thousand acres, in six hundred acre lots. 
The tract comprised all the territory within the present boundaries 
of Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Cortland, and a part of Oswego, 
Wayne and Tompkins. A large district of country adjoining on 
the east, was thus put in the way of being settled, about the same 
period that sales and settlement commenced west of the pre-emp- 
tion line, though it did not progress as rapidly. Land titles wore in 
dispute, and emigrants chose to push on farther, where titles were 
indisputable. Speculation and fraud commenced as soon as the 
patents were issued, a majority of those who it was intended the 
bounty of the State should benefit, sold their right for a trifle,* and 
some were defrauded out of the whole. By the that settle- 
ment commenced, there were few lots, the title to which, was not 
contested. In addition to other questions of title, the officers' and 
soldiers' wives, held in a large majority of cases, the right of dower. 
Land titles upon the whole military tract, were not finally settled 
until about 1800, when a committee appointed by the Legislature, 
one of whom was the late Gen. Vincent Matthews, accomplished 
the work. 

In 1784, Hugh White and his family progressed beyond the set- 
tlements on the Mohawk, and located at what is now Whitestown. 
In the same year, James Dean located upon a tract given him by 
the Indians, in consequence of some services rendered them as an 
interpreter, near the present village of Pome. In 1787, Joseph 

NoTE.--TnaIutto-frornMr. Moriss to Mr, Col-iuhoim. dated in Juno 1791, he .avs 

^.R 1 n7 '*'"^"'?;l\*'''^f 'i'^'f"''' "'■ "^1^'' J''"J "^ *»"• ""lit'^ry tract ha 1 ri Jn 

YorS ,f -^- ' n. "'"* " ■''''' "^"^"P"' ^■'"^•'' '"^ »""! '^""S''t of the State of New 

lork ,n <86 in Otsego county, which by a fortunate use of some public so uritiel 

cost him but 6d per acre, had rinen U, 10s per acre, New York currency. "''' 

* "Many patents for GOO ficrcs woresohl it nricda in crvr. ;.>=(„., .» i • i 

dolIara-L Juude, an English JounS ^ ' ""'^^"''^ "^ *°^ "^ "'^ht 




I . 


■s i 

Blackmer, who was afterwards a pioneer in Wheatland, Monroe 
count)', advanced and settled a short distance west of Judge Dean. 
In May, 1788, Asa Danforth, with his family, accompanied by 
Comfort Tyler, progressed far on beyond the bounds of civilization, 
locating at Onondaga Hollow. There being then no road, they 
came by water, landing at the mouth uf Onondaga Creek. The 
very earliest pioneers of all this region, speak of " Major Dan- 
forth " and the comforts of his log tavern, as compared with their 
camps in the wilderness. Another name has been introduced, that 
should not be passed over by the mere mention of it. Comfort 
Tyler was conspicuously identified in all early years with the his- 
tory of the western portion of this State. He was teaching a 
school upon the Mohawk at the close of the Revolution, and also 
engaged in the business of a surveyor. He was with Gen. James 
Clinton, in the establishment of the boundary line between this 
State and Pennsylvania. He felled the first tree, (with reference to 
improvement,) assisted in the manufacture of the first salt, * (other 
than Indian manufacture,) and built the first turnpike in Onondaga 
county. He also constructed the first " stump mortar," or hand- 
mill, of which the reader will be told more in the course of our nar- 
rative. He filled many important offices in Onondaga county, and 
was one of the original projectors of the Cayuga bridge. He was 
the friend of the early pioneers ; and many in all this region, will 
remember his good offices. The Indians, who were his first neigh- 
bors, respected him, and his memory is now held in reverence by 
their descendents. His Indian name was •' To-whan-ta-gua " — 
meaning that he could do two things at once ; or be, at the same 
time, a gentleman and a laboring man. While a member of the 
Legislature in 1799, he made the acquaintance of Aaron Burr. A 
charter having been procured for building the bridge. Col. Rurr and 
Gen. Swartout subscribed for the whole of the stock ; and at that 
time. Col. Burr had other business connections in this 



for new sot'ilcrs in 
says, that ".sixtooii 

rylcv ami Daiifoilli, l,„th eiignj:', i in making a little wilt 
early vearB. A letter puhlished in a J'hl.-i.lelijhia iianer, in 17[)3, 
bushels ol salt are in:inufiieture,l .lailv at 'A>1, Dani'erth'.s works." It i.^ n.ention«rin 
the history ot Onondaga, tliat Col. Daniortli commenced the business of salt boilina 
by caiTymg a five pail inm kettle IVoni Ononda-a Hollow lo the Salt Sprin-s iipoiihis 
lieaci J.est this sliould be looked upon as incredible by (he younger class of read- 
ers, .lie tact inay be mentioned, that it was a very comnuni practice of the pioneers to 
carry tluur live puil kettles into the wood.s for sugar-mukiug iu thia way. 




" Thus commenced the intercourse of Aaron Burr with the people 
of Wes .ern New York, many of whom," with Col. Tyler, "were 
drawn into the great south-west expedition." Col. Tyler and Israel 
Smith were commissaries of the expedition ; went upon the Ohio 
river, purchased provisions, and shipped them to Natches. Coh 
Tyler was arrested and indicted, but never tried. With fortune 
impaired by all this, in a few years after, Col. Tyler removed to 
Montezuma, and became identified in all early enterprises and im- 
provement at that point. In the war of 1812, he acted as Assistant 
Commissary General to the northern army. He was an early 
promoter of the canal policy, and his memory should be closely 
associated with all that relates to the early history of the Erie 
Canal. He died at Montezuma, in 1827, 

There followed Danforth and Tyler, in the progress of settle- 
ment westward, John L. Hardenburgh, whose location was called, 
in early years, « Ilardenburgh's Corners," now the city of Auburn! 
In 1789, James Bennett and John Harris, settled on either side of 
Cayuga Lake, and established a ferry. This was about the extent 
of settlement west of the lower valley of the Mohawk, when set- 
tlements in the Genesee country began to be founded. * The ven- 
erable Joshua Fairbanks, of Lewiston, who with his then young 
wife, (who is also living,) came through from Albany to Geneva in 
the winter of 1789, '90; were sheltered the first night in the "un- 
finished log house" of Joseph Blackmer, who had become a 
neighbor of Judge Dean ; and the next night at Col. Danforth's ; 

Note. --For tlio pnur-piil farts in the above brief notice of one whose history 
would. iiake a.1 inteivstin- volume, tlie author is indebted to tlie "History of Onon- 
aagii. 1 le counection, in ail this reirjon, of prominent individuals with Col. Buit 
m liiYouth-western .sdieme, was tar more extensive than hius ^a'nerallybeeu supposed! 
It en.braced names here the mention of whieh would -„ far to favor the c<,nclusion 

W p 1 i'"" '""' ''^^';^ "■'"''V''",^"^"'''" '"'''" Pro'l'^'i'ig, that the scheme, as imparted 
by Col I.urrtohis followers, had nothinjr in it of domestic treason. There wire no 
better Inends to their country, or more ardent devotees to its interests, than were many 
inen ot western ^ cw \ ork, wlu. were enlisted in tliis scheme. In after years, when 
u. finnhar cnnveivation with an informant of the author, (n resident of western 
iNew loik,) Ool. ,urr fipoke even with enthusiasm of his associates here — namino- 
them, and saym- that anionjj; tlicm, were men whom he would choose to lead armies'! 
o len-a-i. ni any u-h achievement that rcpiired talents and ener-y of cliaracter. At 
tliciiskot e.Mendni- this note to an unreasonable len-th, the author will add tho 

^?r!^ 1 ri!'""V/f""'"-' ''f' *''"^^'"-' "'^'I'«andchart,s, by which the British fleet 
api..oached^ew Orleans m the war of 181:2, were those jirepared in w.-stern New 
ioif-. I>y a then resident here, tor the south-western expedition of Col. liurr. The 
cucumstance was accidental; the facts in uo way implicating the author or maker of 
the maps. 

* Other than the settlement of Jerusalem. 





there being no intermediate settler. They camped out the third 
night ; and the fourth, staid with John Harris on the Cayuga Lake 
The parents of Gen. Parkhurst Whitney, of Niagara Falls, came 
through to Seneca Lake, in February, 1790, " camping out '' three 
nights west of Rome. It is mentioned, in connection with some 
account of the early advent of Major Danforth, in May, 1788, that 
his wife saw no white woman in the first eight months! These in- 
cidents are cited, to remind tne younger class of readers that the 
pioneers of this region not only came to a wilderness, but had a 
long and dreary one to pass through before arriving at their desti- 

I The first name we find for all New York west of Albany was 
that bestowed by the Dutch in 1638 : — " Terra Incognita," or " un- 
known land." It was next Albany county ; in 1772 Tryon county 
(named from the then English Governor,) was set off, embracing all 
of the territory in this state west of a line drawn north and south 
that would pass through the centre of Schoharie county. Imme- 
diately after the Revolution the name was changed to Montgomery. 
All this region was in Montgomery county when settlement com- 
menced. In 1788, all the region west of Utica was the town of 
Whitestown. The first town meeting was held at the "barn of 
Captain Daniel White, iu said District, in April, 1789 ; Jedediah San- 
ger, was elected Supervisor. At the third town meeting, in 1791, 
Trueworthy Cook, of Pompey, and Jeremiah Gould of Salina,' 
Onondaga county, and James Wadsworth of Geneseo, were chosen 
path masters. Accordingly, it may be noted that Mr. Wadsworth 
was the first path master west of Cayuga Lake. It could have been 
httle more than the supervision of Indian trails ; but the "warning" 
must have been an onerous task. Mr. Wadsworth had the year 
previous, done something at road making, which probably suggested 
the idea Jiat he would make a good path master.* At the first 
general election for Whitestown, the polls were opened at Cayu<Ta 
Ferry, adjourned to Onondaga, and closed at Whitestown. Herki- 
mer county was taken from Montgomery in 1791, and included all 
wcsu of the present county of Montgomery. 

The first road attempted to be made in tliis country, was in 1790, under the di- 
rection of tl>e \VadHWorth8. from the setthnumt at VVhitestown to Canaidai-la 
through a country Uien very Uttle explored, and then quite a wiJderness ''-So-v 






At Geneva, (then called Kanadesaga) there was a cluster of 
buildings, occupied by Indian traders, and a few settlers who had 
come in under the auspices of the Lessee Company. Jemima 
Wilkinson, with her small colony, was upon her first location upon 
the west bank of Seneca Lake, upon the Indian Trail through the 
valley of the Susquehannah, and across Western New York to 
Upper Canada ; the primitive highway of all this region ; one or two 
white families had settled at Catherine's Town, at the head of Sen- 
eca Lake, A wide region of wilderness, separated the most north- 
ern and western settlements of Pennsylvania from all this region. 
All that portion of Ohio bordering upon the Lake, had, of our race, 
but the small trading establishment at Sandusky, and the military 
and trading posts upon the Maumee. Michigan was a wilderness, 
save the French village and the British garrison at Detroit, and a 
few French settlers upon the Detroit River and the River Raisin. 
In fact, all that is now included in the geographical designation — 
the Great West — was Indian territory, and had but Indian occu- 
pancy, witii similar exceptions, to those made in reference to Mich- 
igan. In what is now known as Canada West, there had been the 
British occupancy, of a post opposite Buffalo, early known as Fort 
Erie, and a trading station at Niagara, since the expulsion of the 
French, in 1759. Settlement, in its proper sense, had its commence- 
ment in Canada West during the Revolution ; was the offspring of 
one of its emergencies. Those in the then colonies who adhered to 
tiie King, ffed there for refuge : for the protection oflered bv British 
dominion and armed occupancy. The termination of the strugglei 




i. !», 

f f 

V i 

If'* 5 1' 

in favor of the colonies, and the encourngoinent afibrdcd by the 
colonial authorities, gave an impetus to this emigration ; yet at the 
period of the first commencement of settlement in Western New 
York, settlement in Canada West was confined to Kingston and its 
^neighborhood, Niagara, Queenston, Chippewa, along the"hanks of the 
Niagara Iliver, with a few small settlements in the immediate inte- 
nor. Upon Lakes Erie and Ontario, there were a kw British 
armed vessels, and three or four schooners were emploved in the 
commerce, which was confined wholly to the fur trade, and the 
supplyn-,g of British garrisons. 

Within the Genesee country, other than the small settlement at 
Geneva, and the Friend's settlement, which has been before men- 
tioned, there were two or three Indian traders upon the Genesee 
River, a few white families who were squatters, upon the flats ; one 
or two white families at Lewiston; one at Schlosser ; ane<n'o,with 
a squaw wife, at Tonawanda ; an Indian interpreter, and two or 
three tra.lers at the mouth of Bufililo creek, and a negro Indian 
trader at the mouth of Cattaragus creek. Fort Niagara was a 
British garrison. All else was Seneca Indian occupancy. 

In all that relates to other than the natural productions of the 
soil, there was but the cultivation, in a rude way, of a few acros of 
flats, and intervals, on the river and creeks, wherever the Indians 
were loca'.ed ; the productions principallv confined to corn, beans 
and squashes. In the way of cultivated fruit, there was in several 
localities, a few apple trees, the seeds of which had been planted 
by the Jesuit Missionaries ; and they vere almost the only relic 
lelt of their early, and long continued occupancy. At Fort Niag- 
ara and Schlosser, there were ordinary English gardens. 

The streams upon an average, were twice as large as now ; the 
clearing of the land, and consequent absorption of the water, having 
diminished one half, and perhaps more, the quantity of water then 
carried off through their channels. The primitive forests — other 
than those that were deemed of second growth — that are standing 
now, have undergone but little change, that of ordinary deca>" 
growth, and re-production, but there are large groves of secund 
growth, now consisting of good sized forest trees, that were sixty 
years ago but small saplings. The aged Senecas point out in many 
instances, swamps that are now thickly wooded, that they have 
known as open marshes, with but here and there a copse of under- 



wood. The origin of many marshes, especially upon the small 
streams, maybe distinctly traced to the beaver; th.^ erection of 
their dams, and the consequent Hooding of the lands, having des- 
troyed the timber. As the l)eaver gradually disappeared, the dams 
wore away, the water flowed oiT, and forest trees began to grow. 

And here it may not be out of place to remark, that a very com- 
mon error exists in reference to the adaptodness of certain kinds 
of forest trees to a wet soil. We find the soft maple, black ash, a 
species of ehn, the fir, the spruce, the tamarack, the alder, and 
several other varieties of trees and shrubs <Trowing in wet soils, 
and then draw the inference that wet soils are their natural local- 
ities. Should we not rather infer, that all this is accidental, or 
rather, to be traced to other causes, than that of peculiar adaptation ? 
Take the case of land that has been flooded by the beaver : — the 
water has receded, and the open ground is prepared for the recep- 
tion of such seeds as the wands, the floods, the birds and fowls, 
bring to it. It will be found that the seeds of those trees which 
predominate in the swamps, are those best adapted to the modes of 
transmission. The practical bearing of these remarks, has refer- 
ence to the transplanting of trees from wet grounds. Wherever 
the ash, the fir, spruce, tamarack, high bush cranberry, soft maple, 
&c. have been transplanted upon up lands, and properly cared for, 
they furnish evidence that it was a casualty, not a peculiar adapta- 
tion, that placed them where found, generally stinted and unhealthy. 
But little was known in the colonies of New York, and New 
England of Western New York, previous to the Revolution. During 
the twenty-four years it had been in the possession of the English, 
there had been a communication kept up by water, via Oswego 
and Niagara, to the western posts ; and a few traders from the east 
visited the Scnecas. The expeditions of Prideux and Bradstreet 
were composed partly of citizens of New England and New York, 
but they saw nothing of the interior of all this region. A few 
years previous to the Revolution, in 17G5, the Rev. Samuel Kirk- 
land, whose name will appear in connexion with Indian treaties, in 
subsequent pages, extended his missionary labors to the Indian 
village of Kanadesaga, where he sojourned for several months, 
making excursions to the Genesee River, Tonawanda and Buflalo 
Creeks, lie was the first protestant missionary among the Senecas, 
and with the exception of Indian traders, probably gave the people 



of New England, the first account of ,he Genesee country * But 
the campaign of Gen. Sullivan, in 1779. more than all else perhaps 
served to create an interest in this region. The route of the army 
a ter entcnng the Genesee country, was one to give thorn a thvora- 
ble impression of it. They saw the fine region along the west shore 
ot tt.e feencca Lake ; and passing through what arc now the towns 
ot beneca, Phelps, Gorham.Canandaigua, Bristol, Bloomneld,Rich- 
niond. Livonia, Conesus, they passed up an.l down the flats of the' 
Genesee and the Canasoraga. To eyes that had rested only upon 
the rugged scenery of New England, its mountains and rockv hill 
sides Its sterile soil and stinted herbage, the march must have af- 
forded a constant succession of beautiful landscapes; and what was 
ot greater interest to them, practical working men as they were 
was the nch easily cultivated soil, that at every step caused them 
to look forward to the period when they could make to it a second 
advent — a peaceful one — with the implements of agriculture 
rather than the weapons of war. Returning to the firesides of 
Easter.1 New York, and New England, they relieved the dark pic- 
ture of retaliatory warfare -the route, the flight, smoulderinrr 
cabins, pillage and spoliations- with the lighter shades -descrip. 
tions of the Lakes and Rivers, the rolling up-lands and rich valleys 
-the Canaan of the wilderness, they had seen. But it was a far 
off land, farther off than would seem to us now, our remote posses- 
sions upon the Pacific ; associated in the minds of the people of 
New England, with all the horrors of a warfare they had known 
upon their own extreme borders ; the Revolution was not consum- 

The younfr missionary hrid flrnt seen some of the young mm of the Six Nations 
^t thenusMon school of tlie Rev. Mr. in Lci-num, Connecticut where hey 
were hi.s lellow .s udents, muon- whom ^vas ]!ra,.,. Takin- a ,1 ew intoS 
n. the jspintual welfare of their people, he -,ot introduce,! t<. then, as n is o a rv ,3 

he eacla. the in.han sett en,ent at the toot of SenJca Lake, or rather at the Sen'eca 
mt 1 ",''^""«,;^-^'^^ f:^'"";' 'y tl'c dM .achem of the village, and invitcl to re- 
inaii hut a,io her chief ot the Pa-an party of the villa-e, so ,n made him , ,ich 

^ '/"f '" u'' '^"'''",'^T'' ^'' I"'' '•>■ "^''"^i"- ^'i"' "*' witchcrai't-of lo ' tjVe 
ca.,se of the sudden deatl; (d one of their peoph'. He was tried and ac,,uitle.l t Im.u d 

Cnur* u/*'";^,^-'",*''^''''''*'^^''''^- ^'"^'"' ^-^"•'>' ""'' grandfather of Mrs.' oiSe 
Wosnu r. Afier this he wiis uninterrupted ;., ].m inis,sionary lal.oiu Mr. KirklancPs 

* See Appendix, No. 5. 



ry.* But 
e perhaps, 
the army, 
a favora- 
vest shore 
the towns 
eld, Ilicli- 
ts ot' tho 
inly upon 
ocky hill 
t have af- 
what was 
ey were, 
sod them 
a second 
)sides of 
dark pic- 
1 valleys 
vas a far 
3 posse s- 
jople of 
I known 

s Nations, 
hurc they 
p intort'st 
sioiiiiiy of 
k Ijoii^hs, 
lie iSciiocii 
tf<l to ru- 
liiiii iimch 
l'i'iii|^ tJif 
1 throii^rli 
k, by th(* 
s. Ocorpp 

mated ; long years it must be, as they thought, if ever, before the 
goodly land, of which they had thus had glimpses, could become 
the abode of civilization. The consummation was not speedy, but it 
come far sooner than in that dark hour, they allowed themselves to 
anticipate. In less than four years after Sullivan's expedition, the 
war of the Revolution was ended by a treaty of peace ; but almost 
ten years elapsed before tlie conflicting claims of Massachusetts 
and New York were settled, and Indian titles had been extinguish- 
ed, so as to admit of the ccmmencement of settlement. 

The tide of emigation to the Genesee county, was destined to 
come principally from New England. A brief space, therefore, 
may be appropriately occupied in a sketch of the condition of the 
citizens of that region, after the Revolution, in the vortex of which 
they had been placed ; aad in this, the author has been assisted by 
the venerable Gen. Micah Brooks, whose retentive memory goes 
back to the period, and well informs us in reference to the men 
wlio were the foremost Pioneers of the Genesee country. The 
sketch is given as it came from his hands : — 

" It was my lot to have my birth under the Colonial Government. 
In childhood, I saw our fathers go to the field of battle, and our 
mothers to the harvest field to gather the scanty crops. Food and 
clothing for the army was but in part provided ; and at the end of 
the war, the soldiers, who had suflered almost beyond endurance, 
were discharged without pay ; the patriots, who had supplied food 
and clothing for the army, had been paid in Government paper, 
which had become worthless ; the great portion of laborers drawn 
from the farms and the workshops, had reduced the country to 
poverty; and commerce was nearly annihilated. The fisheries 
abandoned, the labor and capital of the people diverted into other 
channels, and the acts of peace had not returned to give any sur- 
plus for exportation. A national debt justly due, of 8100,000,000, 
and the Continental Congress no power to collect duties on imports, 
or to compel the States to raise their quotas. The end of the war 
brought no internal peace. In 1785, Congress attempted to make 
commercial treaties with England, France, Spain and Portugal ; 
each refused ; assigning as a reason, that under the Confederacy, 
Congress had no power to bind the States. Spain closed the Mis- 
sissippi against our trade, and we were expelled from the Mediter- 
ranean by Barbary pirates ; and we were without the means to 




%h them, or money to buy their peace. The attempt of the 
States to extend their commerce was abortive ; salt rose to .^5 and 
$8 pe bushel ; and packing meat for exportation ceased. Ma^.a- 
cmsetts proh,bUed the exportation of American products in BHtish 
bottoms; and some of the States imposed a countervailing d y 
wh T tonnage. Pennsylvania imposed a duty on foreign goods 
while New Jersey admitted them free of duty 

tnbuton of property: -those equally friendly to the British had 
secretly traded with the enemy, and supplied them with fr::,;^ v . 
sions whde the.r troops were quartered in various parts of the 
coun ry; thus filling their pockets with British gold. At the close 

cmntrv'')' \ "' 'T""' of British goods were sent into the 
coun p absorhng nnuch of its precious metals; tcndm. to render 
us stdl dependent on British favor. While all those whose time and 
property had been devoted to the cause of liberty and inde ^d- 

^ess and rum on a great portion of our most worlliy citizens 
Time was required by those who had lost their time and property." 
toree,tabhsh themselves in their former occupations; vet. som 
of he States resorted to vigorous taxation, which crealed diseoT 

t me sir 1 /'"'""" '^'^ ''''' '''' general pressure, at this 
time, seemed to create a universal attempt of all ci, ditors to en- 
force in the coui-ts of law all their demands before they should 
be put at hazard by the sweeping taxation, which was e'videmly 




It may be well to call to mind the condition of the country, as to 
L^ and government. At the period of the Declaration o Inde- 

people took the power into their hands to conduct the afi'airs of the 

^ ont'tf ^'°^ ' ? "'"'' ^"^^''^■^ assemblies, attempted to ear- 

ly out the recommendations of the American Congress; and that 

theaim^. The citizens of a town would form themselves into 
ch sses ; each class to lurnish a man, equipped for service. The towns 
pun si ed treason, arrested and expelled tories. levied taxes, and 
cordiay co-operated in all tlie leading measures of that day, so fur 
as related to our National Independence. 
"In 1786, '7, a boy, I saw the Revolutionary fathers in their 




assemblies. The scene was solemn and portentous ! Thcv 
toun.1 their common country without a constitution and .-overn- 
ment and without a union. The supposed oppressive'ures of 
an adjommg State had so alarmed the people of a portion of it, 
hat open resistance was made for self-protection, and the protec 
tion ot property An army, in resistance to a proceeding of the 
courts of aw in Massachusetts, had been raised, and had taken the 
tick . Coh P. a man of gigantic stature, and a soldier of the Rev- 
olution, with his associates in arms, entered the court-house at 
Northampton, silenced the court; and in a voice of thunder, order, 
ed It out, closing the doors, and using the court-house as his castle. 
In the county of Berkshire, a General, with three hundred volun- 
eers had talu.n the field, in open resistance to State authority ; and 

ZVr f , ? "'■""' ^^'^ ^^^" '^''^' ^'^^^ ^J^« ---"tion of 
fetate laws had been suspended. Other sections of our countrv 

were in a state of insurrection, and no prospect of relief from any 

source of mediatorial power then existing. The appalling scenes 

that followed, filled the American people with fear and dread. The 

distress that existed, might be an apology for the resistance of the 

laws which was afterwards regretted by those who partook in it, a 

number o whom I saw who had left their homes Jd wandered as 

fugitives to evade the punishment that the law would inflict on 

"A new field was now opened to exhibit the powers, genius and 
energies of the American people. They soon .hscovered what was 
essentinl to their security and prosperity; and in their deliberations, 
moved and adopted an ordinance, or constitution, which they de- 
clared to be .m order to form a more perfect union, establish jus- 
tice, ensure domestic tranquility, and provide for the general de- 
fence; promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of 
liberty to ourselves and our posterity;' and, although defects and 

^Z :i;r r '"^ '''"-' '^''''' '-' '^ ^ '^^^ ^^- --^^- 

At .the time the new constitution went into effect, a new class 
of laborers appeared. These sturdy boys, who were taught in 
business labits during the war, had grown to mnnhood, and with 
redoubled energy, repaired the depredations which contending 
anniesad spread. And many of those soldiers who composed' 
bulhvan s army, and wiio had penetrated the western wilds of this 



State, to chr 

the savarres 

lastise me savages tor cruel...., ........^^ ^.. ,.,^.,^ „,^.,,^^ 

and relations; those who had viewed the beauties of the Genesee 
and the rich table lands of Western New York, resolved to leaW 
the sterile soil, the worn and exhausted lands of New En-land and 
with their families, under the guidance and protection of a kind 
1 rovidence, gathered their small substance, pioneered the way 
through a long wilderness, to the land of promise - the Genesee 

In 170G, in common with the sons of New England, I had a 
strong disposition to explore the regions of the west, and avail my- 
selt If possible, of a more productive soil, where a more bountiful 
reward would relieve the toil of labor. I traversed the Mohawk, 
the Susquehannah, the Seneca and the Genesee. I saw the scatter- 
ed Pioneers of the wilderness in their lonely cabins, cheered by 
the hope and promise of a generous reward, for all the temporary 
privations they then suffered. Their hearts were clieered with the 
sight of a stranger, and they greeted him with a welcome. I found 
in most of the pioneer Realities, that three-fourths of the he Is of 
families had been soldiers of the Revolution. Schooled in the prin- 
ciples that had achieved that glorious work, they only appreciated 
the responsibilities they had assumed, in becommg founders of new 
settlements, and the proprietors of local, religious, educational and 
moral institutions. These Pioneers inherited the principles and 
firmness of their foreflithers ; and whatever in reason and pro- 
priety they desired to accomplish, their energy and perseverance 
carried into effect. They subdued the forest, opened avenues of 
intercourse, built houses and temples for worship, with a rapidity 
unknown in former ages. For intelligence and useful acciuirements 
they were not out done in any age ; and were well skilled in all the 
practical duties of life. In seven or eight vears from the first en- 
trance of a settler, a number of towns in Ontario county, were fur- 
nished with well chosen public libraries." 







Oliver Phelps was a native of Windsor, Connecticut. Soon 
after he became of age, the resistance to British oppression com. 
menced in the colony of Massachusetts, and he became an active 
partisan, participating in the revolutionary spirit, with all the zeal 
of youth and ardent patriotism. He was among the men of New 
England, who gathered at Lexington, and helped to make that early 
demonstration of intended separation and independence. Soon 
after, without the influence of wealth or familv distinction — with 
nothing to recommend him but uncommon energy of character, and a 
reputation he had won for himself— though 1jut a youth, he was 
enrolled as a member of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety. 
When the troops of Connecticut were first organized, and had 
taken the field, he entered the service of a contractor of the army, 
and soon after had an appointment in the commissary department,' 
the duties of which he continued to discharge until the close of the 

On the return of peace, he settled in SufField, Massachusetts. 
He held in succession, the offices of member of Assembly, Sena- 
tor, and a member of the Governor's council. Robert Morris 
having been at the head of financial aflhirs during the Revolution, 
Mr. Ph. ' 'S had made his acquaintance, and for a few rears after 
its close, business relations brought them frecjuently together. Maj. 
Adam Hoops, who had been the aid of Gen. Sullivan, in his expe- 
dition to the Genesee country, was a resident of Philadelphia, and 
an intimate ac(iuaintance of JVIr. Morris. It was during interviews 
with them, that Mr. Phelps Vv as confirmed in a iuvorabie opinion of 


ruELrs AND goeiia:h's pueciiase. 

Ihis region, and the inducements it held out to enterprise, which had 
been acquired by the representations of his New England nei^di- 
bors, who had been in Sullivan's expedition. ° 

_ Soon after Massachusetts became possessed of the pre-emption 
right by deed of cession from New York, he resolved upon being 
niterestad in the purchase of one million of acres ; and for this 
purpose associated liimself with Judge Sullivan, Messrs. Skinner 
and Chapin, William Walker, and several of Jiis friends in Berk- 
shire. Before they had matured their plans however, Nathaniel 
Gorham had made proposals to the Legislature for the purchase of 
a portmn of the Genesee lands. Mr. Phelps had a conference with 
Mr. Gorham, and to prevent coming in collision, they mutually 
agreed, that Mr. (lorham should merge himself with the association, 
and consider his proposition as made for their common benefit. He 
had proposed the purchase of one million of acres, at one and six- 
pence currency per acre, payable in the "public paper of the com- 
monwealth." The House of Representatives acceded to the propo- 
sition, but the Senate non-concurred. In a letter to one of the 
associates, announcing the result, Mr. Phelps observes : — " We 
found such opposition in the Senate, and so many person's ears and 
eyes wide open, propagating great stories about the value of those 
lands, that we thought best to postpone the affair until the next 
session." This was at the session of 1787. 

The elTect of Mr. Gorham's offer was to bring competitors into 
the field, and others had resolved upon making proposals before the 
legislature again convened in April, 17SS. Another compromise 
was made which admitted new partners, and embraced all who 
had any intention of purchase, in one association, of which Messrs. 
Phelps and Gorham were constituted the representatives. They 
made proposals for all the lands embraced in the cession of Massa- 
chusetts. which were acceded to ; the stipulated consideration being 
«ilOO,000, payable in the public paper of Massachusetts; the price 

XoTE.-rn niMitiou tolho knowlcl-o Mr. riR.lp.s had acqiiiiwl ,.f \hc amuU-v as 
alM,vo_m(;cl, K,).m; early rapluror },;„| jrivm liiii.a wriltoii a<-c,mii( (,f ii iVoiuw/iioh 

• 6 



vhich had 
lid neioh- 

pon being 
d for tliis 
I. Skinner 

in Berk- 
rchase of 
?nce with 

lefit. He 
! and six- 
the com- 
he propo- 
ne of the 
: — "We 

ears and 

of those 
tlie next 

itors into 
cfore the 
n promise 

all who 
i Messrs. 
; They 

on being 
le price 

counli-y n.s 
ijil>lc trees 
itsaiid in- 
cut Hiver. 
' suiiiiner, 
uiiulu k'i'i 

of which being much depressed, it was selling at a high rate of 

So much accomplisiied, the share holders held a meeting, appoint- 
ed Gen. Israel Chapiri to go out and explore the country; Mr. 
Phelps the general agent, whose first duty was to hold a treaty with 
the Indians, and purchase the fee or right of soil ; Mr. Gorham as an 
agent to confer with the authorities of New Yor.k, in reference to 
running the boundary or pre-emption line ; and Mr. William Walk- 
er, as the local agent of surveys and sales. 

The Lessees and their "long lease," was an obstacle duly con- 
sidered by the purchasers, for they were aware of the exertions 
I they were making to thwart the commissioners of New York, and 

had no reason to anticipate any thing less from them, in their own 
case. Massachusetts had joined New York, in declaring the leases 
illegal and void, but the association were well advised that they 
could not succeed in a treaty with the Senecas, against the powerful 
influences the Lessees could command, through their connection 
with Butler, Brant, Street, and their associates in Canada, and the 
Indian traders and interpreters in their interest. A compromise 
was resolved upon as tlie cheapest and surest means of success. 
Proceeding to Hudson, Mr. Phelps met some of the principal Les- 
sees, and compromised with them upon te-ms of which there are 
no records, but there is evidence which lead;- to the conclusion, that 
they were to become shareholders with him and his associates. 
The Lessees on their part, contracted to hold another treaty with 
the Indians at Kanadesaga, surrender their lease of all the lands 
west of the Massachusetts pre-emption line, and procure for the 
same, a deed of cession, Phelps & Gorham, for themselves and 
associates, to be the grantees. 

Mr. Phelps returned to New England and made preparations for 
attending the treaty at Kanadesaga, which was to be convened and 
carried on under the general supervision of John Livingston, the 
principal agent of the Lessees. In all confidence that the arrange- 
ment would be consummated, Mr. Pheli)s started upon his advent to 
the Genesee country with a retinue of agents, surveyors, and assis- 
tants, prepared to take possession of the country and commence 
operations. Arriving at Schenectady on the 8th of May, the party 
put their baggage on board of batteaux and arranged to go on horse- 
back to Fort Stanwix, as far as there was any road, and from there 



rnEiPs AND gorham's puechase. 

embark in their batteaux. Mr. Phelps wrote from Schenectidv 
hat they were Hkely to be delayed there by the non-arralof M^ 
Livmgston ; that he had met many unfavorable rumors, the purport 
of one of whicn was that the Indians had refused to treat wUh 
Livings on and that they had " taken up and whipped seve al 

?nl b H . """'"'l I" ^"'- Wadsworth, of Hartford, that Livings- 

ton had arrived with his provisions and goods for the treaty, that 
all W.1S on board of batteaux, and the expedition was about to move 
on, but he adds that an Oneida Indian had just arrived from the 
westwith theinformauon that Brant has "got the Indians colLted 
at iJufialo creek, and is persuading them to take up the hatchet, and if 
possi le not to treat with us." He expresses his fears that the treaty 
wi Ifai! , and adds h.s regrets, as he thinks it will " keep back settle- 
ment a whole year. 

Mr Phelps dkl not arrive at Kanadesaga. (Geneva,) until the 
fi..tof June. On the4thhe wrote to one of his associates, Samue 
Fowler, informing him that the Indians had not collected, that Ent- 
er and Brant had collected them at Buffalo creek and persuaded 
hem not to treat with Livingston. But inasmuch as Livings on 
had sent out runners and interpreters, he is in hopes they wilf ye 
e collected " I am well pleased," he says, " with what /have seen 
of the country. This place is situated at the foot of Seneca Lake 
on a beautiful hill which overlooks the country around it, and .ive^ 
afine pro^,ectof the whole lake, which is about forty miles in 
length. Here w^e propose building the city, as there is a water 
carnage from this to Schenectady; with only two carryin-. places 
of one mile each. I design to set out to-morrow to view the Genesee 

After waiting at Kanadesaga until the 17th of June, Mr. Phelns 
made up his mind that the Lessees would be unable to fulfil their 

urn IZT- T "'?™';^ ^''" '^''"^' ^^'- Livingston, that he should 
1.1 oceed independent of them or their lease, to treat with the Indians. 

FroMoh Indian trnder at cCl on' X Sc W ^n3n t"' ^""""^'i'"' ^^'-''"'•■^^'^1'. fl>« 
tJiai, a„v one Im-l since th^.lVvM of , . i' A hmico tlion among tlioSonocas 

es..c.n,ially aidod the I " cVs ^^^^^^^^ ^"'^T' ""'l ■J""eaire. Ho had 

alniost bo said, niisslona io. att^lt ncri^?^ . J 'i "T' 7^?':i''*t^^'-H, and it 'may 
generally payable iu land, in S a bcTobd^ini::"' '"' '^ I-^*^'" -^ it .ni 


He had by this time discovered that there was a " screw loose" 
between the" Nevv York Genesee Company" and the "Niagara 
Genesee Company and that they were pulling in different directions. 
Infen-mg that the balance of power was in the hands of the Nia<.. 
ara Company, Mr. Phelps taking the Indian trail, proceeded to Niag- 
ara, where he met Butler, Brant and Street. He secured their 
co-operation, and they agreed to procure a gathering of the Indians 
at Buffalo creek for the purpose of holding a treaty with him. Mr 
Phelps, rejomed his friends at Kanadesaga where he remained until 
a deputation of chiefs waited upon hi,n to conduct him to the coun- 
cil fire they had lighted at Buffalo creek,* where he and his party 
arrived on the 4th of July. ^ v^nj 

Negotiations were commenced. The Rev. Mr. Kirkland was 
present, appointed by a law of Massachusetts to superintend the 
treaty and see that no injustice was done to the Indians, and his 
assistant, superintendent, Elisha Lee, Esq. of Boston. The ii tef- 
preters were James Deane and Joseph Smith. William Johnstone, 
Mr. Kirkland and several others. Besides these, there were also 
pi-eseru, John Butler, Joseph Brant, Samuel Street, the officers of 
Fort Niagara. Ihe Lessees, following up Mr. Phelps, were repre- 
sented by John Livingston, Caleb Benton and Ezekiel Gilbert. 
Chiefs of the Onondagas, Cayugas, and the Mohawks were also 

On the opening of the council, Mr. Phelps produced the commis 
sion given him by the Governor of Massachusetts : f had h TnTer.' 
preted; and made a speech, explaining the object of the treaty 
the right he had purchased of Massachusetts, &c. Most of the' 

weie fcrr selling a portion of their lands. They, however stood 

upon mdung the Genesee river the eastern boundary of their ces- 
s,oi> and they stoutly resisted innovation west of it for seve II 
days : but finally yielded, and fixed the western boundary as t w" 

treaty, he said : - ■'• TIkmi 1, IJi h- a ul T]^ "f «''"KMvmn,irm" to Mr. Phelp's 

took M. Phelps by the HaHa,Kff:^u;\jt?::;u!i;f^j^?\3^ 

baud. Wlieu he opened hisniiud 

p a pai'vi, \vitha seal to it, an biy 

tu us, we took it hard." 




afterwards cstubhshed. Mr. Phelps, in a statement he made of the 
transacuons, says "the council was conducted in a friendK and 
amica le manner.'' The negotiation then turned upon the pr ce to 
he paid ; and Mr. Phelps and the Indians failing to i.,ee ley mu 
tually appo nted John Butler, Joseph Brant, Elilha L^ee as eferees' 

thous u)d dollars and an annuity of five hundred dollars for ;ver. 
Ihe Indians had consented to take for the quantity of land they 

o what the Lessees had agreed to pay for their whole country, and 
tins was the basis upon which the price was fixed 

The lands thus ceded, constituted what is now known as Phelp's 

P em:t"h.f:"'^"; '^ ''''''•'' ^-"d-y- the Massachusetts' 
pre-emption hne ; and its western boundary, a line " becrinnin.^ in 
the northern line of Pennsylvania, due south of the corned- o noi 

asciaga Cieek; thence north on said meridian line to the corner 
or point, at the confluence aforesaid ; thence northwardly alon'the 
waters o the Genesee river, to a point two miles north of Can^ 
wagus VI age ; thence running due west twelve miles ; thence run- 
mng northwardly, so as to be twelve miles distant from the w s te n 

ounds of said river to the shores of Lake Ontario." With 
these boundaries, were contained, by estimation, 2,G00,000 acres 
Soon after arriving at Buffalo Creek, Mr. Phelps saw that tiie 

delir \':dlT-';"'^^''T^ ''- n.^^^o.sL.t ,east, cal 

delay-and he, therefore, made a compromise, stipulatincr the con 

eyance to them of the four townships named in another onne 

agents well for a forbearance in the work of mischief, in n-liich 
ey were so persevering. Their release of so much as wa b 
eluded in his purchase, was interpreted to the Indians 

The Niagara Genesee Company, Butler and his associates, in ad- 
dition to heu- interests in common with all the Lessees, had an n- 
dependent claim for convening the Indians ; and by their influ nc 

tliucxtonBion of Lis T)uiA.u"'b"vo ml tl r P'-««""^«l. that Mr. PJiolps, i„ ,„41 
the Falls ; and i„ all Jrr.l a ] ty^, "iS ^^T'f 'ri\ '^'''^' "^' l'""*'''"^ '^ "^ ^t 
diansand the white Kt^tlers ■ilri.m.iw f J"' ^'^'^ "'"'""^ benefit of the In- 
Ebeucer Allan, „pou cond!ticS\K^S ^'Z. ^H!!^,. '!^ ?-- "- ^f}^ -re .{I 

I fci't'Ct a saw-mill iuid giist-mili. 

lade of the 
iendly and 
lie price to 
, they mu- 
is referees, 
hased, five 
s for ever, 
'land they 
untry, and 

as Phelp's 
ginning in 
?r or point 
I tlie Can- 
he corner, 
along the 
of Cana- 
ence run- 
e western 
) acres. 

that the 
1st, cause 
J the con- 
• connec- 
in ^vhich 
i was in- 

es, in ad- 
ad an in- 

• . TLo au- 
I, in 'irgiiijr 
? a niiH nt 
of t}io In- 
UO acres to 

niELrs AND goeuam's purchase. 141 

in fact, enablinp Mr. Phelps to accomplish his purpose. This was, 
probably, arranged by a promise on the part of Mr. Phelps, to give 
them an interest in common with himself and associates. * 

Mr. Phelps, before leaving the country, set surveyors to work, 
under the direction of Col. Hugh Maxwell, to divide the newly ac- 
quired country into townships ; and, having fixed upon Canandai- 
gua as the primitive locality, the focus of intended enterprise, re- 
turned to Suffield. All retired as winter approached, and left 'the 
whole region in possession of its ancient owners.f Arrived at home, 
Mr. Phelps reported, by letter to his principal associates, the result 
of his embassy. " You may rely upon it," says he " that it is a good 
country ; I have purchased all that the Indians will sell at pre- 
sent ; and, perhaps, as much as it would be profitable for us to buy 
at this time." Mr. Walker, after having remained in the country 
until nearly the setting in of winter, returned and was present at a 
meeting of the associates in January. He reported that he had 
sold and contracted about thirty townships. At this meetincr, a 
division of the land took place ; a large proportion of the shares 
werebut small ones, the largest portion of the lands fallincr into the 

.iiHl othom," (the Niagara Lessee Commnl^ fiV I I'n"'* *?°''"'' ^"^"""^l ^^'"^''^ 

Lis purchase. Canaudmirwas his^afxt c^^^^^^^^^ ""'''' '^^ '''""''^ ^^ «^ ''^'^ 

«ist tliat if w-i'j 'It P.,.,n,„i„; "^^'. pi^ooaoiy, tail mto tlio liaiids of tlioae who w 11 in- 

crv, the tomahawk ami so 5„f Ci' "^ "ii^!^ eloquently invoking the war 
whole storv is «|)(.ilo,l hv ulTlth tl' ^-'i^' "' « '''•"tlior opposing? him. The 

Hoanof Do.r^ ' ' ,i M, ■pi, , ..'""^'l,^ °*" assertion, that lie and "Billy, and the 
wai^no i Ition tT hrSVnrt,i-;'v'r^^^ 'T^ ''' Buffalo Cr/e'k. There 

The idea ,/ a land tre'i v of m7 PI '^ •'?,* A'''' l"']'- ' ''^* °"° afterwards appeared. 

came due. '-- ^'^ ■"•■; ^^'"f ^ir. liidpa' payments be- 




hands of Phelps and Gorham and a few associates. The most of 
the early sales of townships, was to those who held shares * 
Early m the spring of 1789. under the general auspicies of Mr 

siariea out to the new Genospp rnnt^t^'1r t^ „ . 

., , , vjLULsce countiy to commence a sett ement 

.hegenorn ,le.a,l.of which will he found in another c„„„e" on 
LnC? air '"=,*?' T'""''"""^ y^^'^' »"e™a.ingbe: 
close of 178!., he had joinlly, wid, John Taylor, ,an agent of the 
State contraeted with Ephraim Blackmer. who has before been 
named, for the out of a road, two rods wide from Fort Stln" 
w,x to Seneca La „. While in the Genesee eountry this jw in 
he absence o, any ocal laws, he entered into a written compact with 

Zlr7 "' of ^«->'"=»' character, each parly promising 
to punish olfences committed by their own people 

legislature n, 780, Messrs. Phelps and Gorham, and their associates 
found themselves unable to fulfil the eng.agements they had m de 
for the payment of the purchase money. They had predicated 

pa"r: "m " "^ ™"''"""'"- "■"' '"^y ^-^ P-hase' e pub le 
paper of Massachusetts, at its then market value, which was bm 

about fifty cents on the dollar. I„ ,he interval, before p y da^ ar 

r,ved, the prospect of success in the formation of a Federal 'overn 

ment, and a consequent funding „f ,he debts of the S tires [h; 

paper they had stipulated to make payment in, had nearly a pa va !e 

in market. Thus situated, and having failed to exLJuish h! 

nattve right to the whole, they memorfalized the legiZ e 1 

P tint ont r b'f ' °"'=""""" ™ ■■^'■^■■™- '" -h' ' ^-ined 
payu g onlj for what was mcluded in their Indian treaty. The 

legislature the more readily perhaps, acceded to their request inas 
much as they were pretty sure of finding a purchaser foi wto re." 
mained, m the person of Robert Morris 
New difficulties however, soon presented themselves. The Indi. 

M Phelos tr^l-^'Ti' ""'™'-^-"'^ -.isfied with the Let 
Mr. Phelps, became divided upon the subject; the mischievous 

.'» ,.™. they p.i,, for ji»d„.;rri?/;pL:Esi'''""''"'''''"' »"'' 



traders and some interpreters among them, promoted the trouble, 
and in that then retreat of disturbed spirits, and liaters of every 
thing that was American — the refugees of the Revolution, and 
British officers and agents — Fort Niagara and its precincts — there 
were disturbers other than those that had been compromised with. 
The Indian chief Cornplanter, was the principal representative of 
the malcontents. 

In August, 1790, JMr. Phelps being in the Genesee country, wrote 
to the elder Mr. Gorham in Boston, and after giving a somewhat dis- 
couraging account of the almoft universal prevalence of disease 
among tlie new settlers,* informs him that the Indians had been at 
Canandaigua, and refused to receive any farther payments, alledg- 
ing that the amount of purchase money, aside from the annuity, 
was to have been ten, instead of five thousand dollars. He adds, 
that some recent murders of Indians committed at Tioga, by whites, 
had helped to exasperate them ; that he was about to set out to -'isit 
their principal villages to appeasa them ; and that if he did not suc- 
ceed, he feared they would retaliate by a general attack upon the 

At an Indian council by Mr. Pickering at Tioga, in November, 
Red Jacket and Farmer's Brother made speeches, in which they 
both claimed that the sum to be paid by Mr. Phelps, was ten instead 
of five thousand dollars ; alledged that they had been cheated ; 
that their " heads had been confused " by treaties with the "thirteen 
Fires," with " Fires kindled by the Governor of New York," and 
by " Livingston." Speaking of the payment from Mr. Phelps, Red 
Jacket said : — " When we went to Canandaigua to meet Mr. Phelps, 
expecting to receive ten thousand dollars, we were to have but five 
thousand. When we discovered the fraud, we had a mind to apply 
to Congress, to see if the matter could not be rectified. For when 
we took the money and shared it, every one here knows, that we 
had but about one dollar a piece. All our lands came to, was but 
the worth of a few hogsheads of tobacco. Gentlemen who stand 
by, do not think hard of us for what has been said. At the time 
of the treaty, twenty broaches would not buy half a loaf of bread ; 

* He says: — " Wo have suft'erod mucli for tlio want of a physician ; Atwater has 
not yet arrived ; wc liave Udw a sditlenian frotii I'ciiiisylvaniii .attending; on tlic sick, 
who seems to undei-staiid liis business. Tlie t\vo Wad'swortlis, wlio came from Dur- 
ham, liave lieeii very sieli, are now recovering,', but are low spirited ; they like the 
country but tlieir sicKuesshas discourawd tliem." 



80 that when we returned home, there was not a bridit spot of 
silver about us." 

In December, Cornplanter, attended by other Seneca chiefs, met 
1 resident Washington at Philadelphia, and delivered to him a speech, 
m which he represented that the treaty at Bulllilo creek, had been 
Iraudulently conducted; that Mr. Phelps represented himself as 
the agent of the " thirteen Fires," that he told them that the coun- 
try had been ceded to the thirteen Fires by the British King; that 
It he could not make a bargain with the Indians, he could take 
their lands by force; and that generallv, it was by threats and de- 
ceptions he had obtained the Indian lands. He added that Mr 
Street, whom they supposed their friend, "until they saw him 
whispering with Phelps." had been bribed by the promise of a 
large tract of land. The President heard the complaints, promised 
an investigation of the matter, and to see the Indians redressed if 
they had suffered wrong. 

Soon after all this, Mr. Phelps addre-ed the President, giving a 
detailed history of the treaty, denying the allegations of Cornplan- 
ter, and asserting that he caused the Indians at the treaty to be 
well informed of his errand, their rights to their lands ; that he used 
no threats, or coercion to accomplish his object, and that the sum 
he was to advance to the Indians, was but five thousand dollars. 
He accompanied his statement, by dejiositions from the Rev Mr 
Kirkland, James Dean, Judge Hollenbeck, and others, ^\•ho were 
present at the treaty, in substance, to the effect that the treaty was 
conducted honorably, and fairly, and that Cornplanter was mista- 
ken as to the amount of the purchase money. 

In February, '01, Joseph Brant addressed a long letter to the su- 
perintendent of Indian affairs for the northern district of the United 

Jjn^^^H !'t^"f^ "•' ''r' ^if ^""''^',"''^' •>•"" '<'I™^' '"•" ""t of pain. A ot u.\]K 
que eat ol t]it. fatal root, and hI« -, with his fathers in i)oacc> " Tliis w.« m . 

iienn'o'^noTe. ■'"'"''"'■' ' "' ''" ^'''' '' -^^ <'-th,- .here one diHappearsild i 



States, in which he attacks Cornplantor with severity ; alleging 
that " influenced by bribes and other selfish views, he prevailed on 
the chiefs who were sent to cover up the council fire at Kanadesaga, 
kindled by John Livingston, to lease the whole of the Five Nation's 
country, for a consideration of twenty thousand dollars, and an an- 
nual rent of two thousand ; and it was wiili the utmost difiiculty, 
that the Five Nations were able to move that lease, from off a por- 
tion of the country." He recapitulates the bargain made by Mr. 
Phelps, agreeing with other witnesses. He says that the Lessees 
wore only released from the payment of five thousand of the twenty 
thousand they had agreed to pay for the whole country, and a pro 
rata amount of their stipulated annual rent.* Thi^ was to show, 
that the bargain with Mr. Phelps, was abetter one even than Cor'.- 
planter had jn-omoted with the Lessees. 

When Mr. Pickering held his council at Newtown, in July, '91, he 
examined several Cayuga and Onondaga chiefs, who stated that 
Cornplanter's allegations were untrue ; and some of the principal 
Seneca chiefs, stated to him that all was fair on Mr. Phelps' part, 
in reference to the treat v. 

But all this did not entirely quell the dissatisfaction, and the al- 
ledged wrong was mixed up with other elements, to render the 
earliest relations of Pioneers of the Genesee country and the Indi- 
ans, equivocal ; in a condition to keep up alarm and apprehensions 
of evil. If the Senecas themselves were mainly disposed to be 
friendly, their jealousies and' resentments were kept alive, by the 
western Indians, and their British prompters, and British agents at 
Niagara. DCP See Mr. Phelps' speech to the Indians. Appendix, 
No. 6. tt ■> 

The whole history of the early Indian treaties in this State, is a 
complex one; there was a disjointed state of things existing among 
our own people ; the treaties began without any clear and definite 
understanding, of what were the respective rights of the State and 
the general government. The Indians, after they had heard of 
"one big fire being lighted for all the thirteen States," could not un- 
derstand why they should be invited to attend " so many little fires," 

i,roJil'orrhvn.?T'^ ''•'"■'^^•^ ^°. *•"'''; ^'>=^* ^''° poor Indians never realized the sura 
fl r^?vn. Z \ If'' ""^'"V^"'. t^*^ *«'•'» "f l^'il-es to some of their chiefs ; and iu torm hut a small portioti nf [t A,,,! -,.,,f fi,,. r^i-.-u- ir, -r,-, f „,.> . i X. 

realized a large amount for their meg/'aong klle."" ' ^"''" ""^ """'^''■' 



■■i hi 

m Hi 



or councils. The almost interminable mischief, the Lessee move- 
ment, was thrust in to add to embarrassment. The close of the 
Revolution had left them with distracted councils, cut up into fac- 
tions themselves. No wonder that when they were pulled and 
hauled about from one treaty to another, beset by State commis- 
sioners. Lessee companies, speculators and " their old friends at 
Niagara," they should on several occasions have complained that 
their " heads were confused." 

But the crowning curse, the source of nearly all other evils that 
beset them, and nearly all that embarrassed our early relations and 
intercourse with their race, was the use of spirituous liquors. In 
the absence of them, the advent of our race to this continent, would 
have been a blessing to theirs, instead of what it has proved to be, 
the cause of their ruin, and gradual extermination. No where in a 
long career of discover}-, of enterprize and extension of empire, 
have Europeans found natives of the soil, with as many of the 
noblest attributes of humanity ; moral and ph}'sical elements, which, 
if they could not have been blended with ours, could have main- 
tained a separate existence, and been fostered by the proximity of 
civilization and the arts. Every where, when first approached by 
our race, they welcomed it, and made demonstrations of friendship 
and peace. Savage, as they were called, savage as ihf may have 
been in their assaults and wars upon each other, then • no act of 
theirs recorded in our histories, of early colonization, of wrong or 
outrage, that was not provoked by assaults, treachery or deception — 
breaches of the hospitalities they had extended to the strangers. 
Whatever of savage character they may have possessed, so far as 
our race was concerned, it was dormant until aroused to action 
by assaults or treachery of intruders upon their soil, whom they had 
met and treated as friends. 

This was the beginning of trouble ; the cupidity of our race 
perpetuated it by the introduction of "fire water," which, vitiating 
their appetites, cost them their native independence of character, 
made them dependents upon the trader and the agents of rival 
governments ; mixed them up with factious and contending aspir- 
ants to dominion ; and from time to time, impelled them to the 
fields of blood and slaughter, or to the stealthy assault with the tom- 
ahawk and scalping knife. For the ruin of his race, the red man 
has a fearful account against us, bince we assumed tlie responsibiiit 


PiiELPs Amy gorham's purchase. 




of intercourse with it, as a separate and independent people • but 
as ni another instance, where another race is concerned, we may 
plead with truth and justice, that we were inheritors of the curse 
and that our predecessors are chargeable with having fixed the plague 
spot and stain up6n us, indelibly, long before the responsibility de- 
volved upon us. 

From the hour that Henry Hudson toled the Indians on board of 
his vessel, on the river that bears his name, and gave them the first 
taste of spirituous liquors, the whole history of British intercourse 
with them IS marked by the use of this accursed agent as a princi- 
pal means of success. The example of Hudson was followed up 
by al the Dutch and English traders upon the Mohawk, and when 
bir Wilham Johnson had settled as a British agent in the Mohawk 
valley, he had unfortunately learned the potent influence of spirit- 
uous liquors in Indian traffic and negotiation. He is probably the 
first that made use of them at Indian councils ; thus settincr a vicious 
example that has been perpetuated. The earl French traders upon 
the St Lawrence, and in all this region, commenced the traffic not 
until after they had ascertained that they could in no way compete 
with the English traders than by using the same means. The early 
Jesuit Missionaries checked them in their work of evil, but 'he 
English trader was left unrestrained, even encouraged by English 
colonial authority. The Senecas, especially, naturally inclined to 
the French. There was something in the French character that was 
congenial to (heir natural preferences ; the two races met and 
flowed into each other, (if the expression is admissable,) like kindred 
or easily assimilating elements ; with the English it was difTerent ' 
there was a natural repugnance, it may almost be said ; the blowze' 
turgid Englishman, and the Seneca who possessed generous and even 
romantic and poetic elements, were in caste and inclination anti- 
podes. It was with his keg of rum, that the Englishman could alone 
succeed ; and with a morbid, sordid perseverance, he plied it in trade 
as well as diplomacy. It was rum that first enabled the Englishman 

tl,S'n"-'':^;::i*'i^^!!:^T!*.°^th«, f-nch Fmnciscan and Jesuit Mi^ionaries ia 


casks. Thoy l)c.('anic, in somo instances,* mail vi'H'in'('M(I.-nv..iM.r f. «un.>.-e-""tK> tr.'ffir' 
liu nist tciiiiKTuiu'c essay tluMvmi.i eversaw other than ilie ra'ecei)tq of tl,.. lii In 
>vaswnttunm this region by a Jesuit Missionary, andpubliiei iii K ^"^'^^'' 

r.oTL.-i<rom tlio hrst advent of the French Franciscar. and Jesuit Mis-sionarios in 
US region, tliey were the detonnined opposers of the introduction of Si'oia 
T" ,',',"*""" ^''^ ^r^'fi^- ^ '^^ .^^""''1 ^''PP"-'-'^'^ i' i" tlH' trading houses ^ot'th"k 



'l ,t! 

!' !' 

to get a foothold upon the Hudson, upon the Mohawk, along the 
shores of Lake Ontario ; in the absence of its use, bold as the asser- 
tion may appear, he would not have succeeeded in putting an end to 
French dominion in America. 

At a later period, when the storm of the Revolution was gather- 
ing, the English resorted to the old weapon they had used against 
the French, to use against the colonies. The Indians had undoubt- 
edly resolved upon neutrality ; unsophisticated, unlearned in all the 
grievances of oppressed colonies, in the intricacies of taxation, 
representation, and the immunities under other structures of gov- 
ernment than their own, they could not understand why the bonds 
of kindred should be sundered ; why those they had just seen fight- 
ing side by side against the French should be arrayed against each 
other so suddenly. The aspect of the quarrel was not suited to 
their tastes or inclinations, and they resolved upon standing aloof; 
the Senecas at least. Invited to Oswego, by the English refugees 
from the Mohawk, kept intoxicated for days and weeks, promised 
there that the accursed "fii^ water" of England's King, should be 
as free to them " as the waters of Lake Ontario," their good inten- 
tions were changed, and their tomahawks and scalping knives were 
turned against the border settlers ; a series of events ensued, the 
rev" nv of which creates a shudder, and a wonder that the offences 
were so easily forgiven; that we had not taken their country after 
subduing it with our arms, instead of treating for it. But well and 
humanely cHd the Father of his Country consider how they had been 
wiled to the unfortunate choice of friends which they made. Eng- 
lish rum was not only freely dealt out at Oswego, during the Revo- 
lution, but at Fort Niagara, where it paid for the reeking scalp, and 
helped to arouse the fiercest passions of Indian allies, and send 
them back upon their bloody track. 

When peace came, and our State authorities began to cultivate 
an acquaintance with the Indians, they found thein deserted by 
their late Britisli employers, with nothing to show for the sanguine 
aid they had given them, but appetites vitiated by the English rum 
cask, and a moral and physical degeneracy, the progress of which 
could not have been arrested; and lingering yet among them, in all 
their principal localities, was the English or tory trader, prolonging 
his destructive traffic. It was American, New York legislation, 
that made the first statutes against the traffic of spirituous liquors 




among the Indians. It was American legislation, after the incubus 
of British dominion was shaken off, that first checked the slave 
trade. Two enormous offences have been committed against two 
races, both of which had been alike perpetuated under English do- 


Mr. Phelps, although his residence in ail the earliest years of set- 
tlement, was still in Massachusetts, spent most of his time in Can- 
andaigua, and was the active and liberal patron and helper in all 
the public enterprises of the region where he had been the pioneer. 
Of ardent temperament, ambitious in all that related to the pros- 
perity of the new country, the Pioneer settlers found in him a friend ; 
and when disease, privation, Indian alarms, created despondency, 
he had for them words of encouragement, and prophecies of a " bet- 
ter time." He was useful to a degree that no one can realize who 
has not seen how much one man can do in helping to smooth the 
always rugged paths of backwoods life. 

A considerable shareholder in the original purchase of Massa- 
chusetts and the Indians, he eventually became a principal owner, 
by purchase of shares, reversions and other means. In a few years 
after the settlement of the Genesee country was fairly under way, 
he was regarded as one of the most successful and wealthy of all 
the many founders of new settlements of that period. In 1795, he 
regarded himself as worth a million of dollars. There are no busi- 
ness enterprises which, if successful, are better calculated to lead to 
excess and rash venture, than that of speculation in lands. A 
mania of land speculation, as will be seen in another connection, 
commenced along in '95 and '6, and extended through all the then 
settled parts of the Union. Philadelphia was the principal focus, 
its leading capitalists, among whom was Mr. Morris, were the prin- 
cipal operators. Among the devices of the times, was a gigantic 
" American Land Company." Elected to Congress, Mr. Phelps, 
elated with his success in the Genesee country, was thrown into 
the vortex of rash adventure, and became deeply involved, as all 
were who made any considerable ventures at that unfortunate 
period. One of his ventures was in connection with the "Georgia 
L.'ind Company ;" with the fate of which, most reader;, will be 
familiar. Liabilities abroad made him a large borrower, and obliged 



. ■I'- 


him to execute mortgages upon his Genesee lands. In all this, the 
titles of purchasers under him became involved, which created dis- 
trust and excitement among a portion of the settlers, and broucrht 
upon him a good deal of censure. His reverses, and the app!-e- 
hensions, perhaps, that others were to be involved in them, previncr 
upon a sensitive mind, his health gradually declined, and he died in 
1809 aged GO years. In 1802, he had removed to Canandaic^ua ; 
and from the commencement of his reverses up to the period o^fhis 
death had been struggling to extricate himself, and others involved 
with him, from embarrassment. In allusion to all this, an inscrip- 
tion upon his tomb-stone contains the following sentence : — 

i2^l7^^:^T"''' 'Ti Irr"^''' "■^'^"°* ^^^^^^ ^-^^"'--^ success; but tl.e 
irmts ot tJioso viHues, \nll be felt by society." 

The State of Connecticut having been a principal creditor of 
Mr Phelps, and holding a large mortgage upon his lands, the Hon. 
Gideon Granger became its agent, and ultimately the settlement of 
the estate devolved upon him. When he entered upon the task, he 
was assisted in some of its preliminary investigations by the late 
Jessee Havvley, Esq., who, in a memorandum which the author has 
m his possession, remarks that the estate was involved in " com- 
plexity perplexity and confusion." The superior business facul- 
ties ot Mr. Granger, however, made "crooked things straicrht •" 
debts were cancelled, land titles cleared from incumbrances^; no 
purchasers under Mr. Phelps, it is believed, ultimately suffered loss ; 
and a considerable estate was saved to his heirs. Amoncr the sur- 
viving early Pioneers, it is common now to hear expressiolis of re- 
spect for the memory of Oliver Phelps, and regrets, that the last 
years ot his active and enterprising life was so clouded by misfor- 
lortune. Jesse Havvley wrote that he was "the Cecrops of the 
Genesee country. Its inhabitants owe a mausoleum to his memo- 
ry, in gratitude for his having pioneered for them the wilderness of 
this Canaan of the west." 

Mr. Phelps was first judge of Ontario, on the primitive or-aniza- 
tion of Its courts; and was an early Representative in Con-ress 
Irom the then western district of this State. " 

He left a son and daughter. His son, Oliver Leicester Phelps 
was educated at Yale College, married a grand-daughter of Rorrer 
Sherman, and became a resident of Paris, France. Returnin<T°to 
this country, after the death of his father, he became the ocrupant 



of the old Phelps' mansion at Canandaigua ; was atone period Ma]. 
General of the 22d Division of New York Infantry. He died in 
1813. His surviving sons are : — Judge Oliver Phelps, of Canan- 
daigua, who resides at the old homestead, a worthy representative 
of his honored ancestor ; William H. Phelps, of Canandaigua ; and 
Francis Phelps, an inmate of the Infirmary at Brattleborou^h 
Vermont. The daughter of Oliver Phelps became the wife °ot' 
Amasa Jackson, of the city of New York, and is now a resi- 
dent of Canandaigua. A daughter of hers, is the wife of Gen. 
John A. Granger; and another, is the wife of Alexander II. Howell 
a son of the Hon. N. W. Howell. The wife of Oliver Phelps, who 
was the daughter of Zachariah Seymour, died in 1826, acred 74 
years. ° 



Nathaniel Gorham, the elder, who was the associate of Mr. 
Phelps, was never a resident upon the Purchase. He resided in 
Charlestown, Mass. His son, Nathaniel Gorham, jr.. his local repre- 
sentative, came to Canandaigua in 1789, and was of course one of 
the earliest pioneers. He was an early Supervisor of Canandaigua, 
a. Judge of the county courts, and the President of the Ontario 
Bank, from its first organization, until his death. He died in 1826, 
aged 62 years. His surviving sons are : — Nathaniel Gorham, mer- 
chant, of Canandaigua ; William Gorham, of Canandaigua ; and 
David Gorham, of Exeter, New Hampshire. Mrs. Dr. A. G. Bris- 
tol, of Rochester, is a daughter ; and an unmarried daughter resides 
at the old homestead at Canandaigua. The mother died in 1818, 
at the advanced age of 83 years. 

And in this connection, lest he should be omitted in a work like 
this — as he should not be — some mention should be made of the 
venerable William Wood, who, if not a pioneer himself, is especial- 
ly the friend of the pioneers ; and among his other good works, 
takes a lively interest in perpetuating theii- memories. Mr. Wood 
IS a veteran bachelor, the brother of the late Mrs. Nathaniel Gor- 
ham. His native place is Charlestown, Massachusetts. At one 
period of his life, he was an importing merchant !n the city of Bos- 
ton; after that, a cotton dealer in 'New Orleans, where he was 
known for his deeds of philanthropy and benevolence. Becomino' 
a resident of Canandaigua, "by quiet unostentatious charities, by 


;. II' 





being " present in every good work, " he has well entitled himself to 
be called the Howard of his local region. The public edifices of 
Canandaigua, the rural church-yard, the streets and side-walks, the 
public libraries, bear testimonials of his public spirit. If no other 
good work is in hand, he will carry apples, books, and other accept- 
able presents, to the inmates of the jail, and cheer them by kind 
words. In cities and villages of this country and in England, he 
has established libraries and literary institutions, principally for the 
benefit of mechanics, apprentices and clerks. Well may it be said; 
that the world would be better, the picture of humanity would have 
in it more of lighter coloring, if there were more like William 
Wood. But, principally, it has been intended to notice him in con- 
nection with a Gallery of Portraits — mostly of Pioneers of the 
Genesee country — that he is collecting and suspending in their 
well-chosen and appropriate place, the court-house at Canandaigua. 
It contains already the portraits of — 

Oliver Phelps, 
Peter B. Porter. 
Philip Church, 
Wm. Wadsworth, 
MicAH Brooks, 
Vincent Mathews, 
Abner Barlow, 
Walter Hubbell, 
John C. Spencer, 
Mobes Atwateh, 

Augustus Porter, 
John Greig, 
James Wadsworth, 
Red Jacket, 
Nathaniel Rochester, 
Jasper Parrish, 
Judge Fitziiugh, 
Ambrose Spencer, 
William Williams, 


And a correspondent adds; — "William Wood, the noblest Ro- 
man of them all." 






even the Indian trealie, ft,- 1! ''":"'=,'^™''^'=<' ■"'""fy, preceding 
=.i.u.ed in ea,.,; Z^t Z^'^T^^ l^^^-^''^ »- 
account of them it mnv ,v.ii i , '^''S'on; some 

"ork of this ch";cter ' ™''"°"'' ""' '^^ '°'"^»<' '- '» ^ 

Ft/e'ri ■" "r'^'i;':?;''-''''' ",t ™ ^^-"^^ ■'^ ^^ f""»-,.s, « ne 


recovty. si rwt;,afw:„T I """';"""■"' ""'' """■ "'-■• 
'■•aetedi; .in^ostoHif J;,r; Iti^S'-- .;- ^^^'^'■'' """ ""• 
iilness, lici- friemk Iv,^ , ° , , l'""«" °'- I" the extremity of her 
herdeatllw " asst !ffi' 'i'' '""""^ '"" ''«' ^'J" '""''"ess 

K-ehng byits side, ^ade tt /t „ra,t X P "' 'T'; """ 

she was l^Z^^J^:"'fT''""'' ^'"^ ''''^''^' J^-^cefonvar3 

ci^nsidfi XroTsres'T f "^' """ '-^""'■""^' """ ™'* " 
Sood New EnJ d tmeT T° "'''""'''■''"^■''' ■'°'"^' "^ "'="> 

York, and spent sevcnll! f ^''' ^"^-''^"^' ^^^'^^^'^^'^ ^^^^"^^ 

_^ ^Pent sevcial years ni the neighborhood of Philadelphia 

f .vZlt '!■ 'f '-'''•^' '""• "'^^■" "™<'""' "f ho ! ! . c : 

I},t . f ' 




r i; 

and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, accompanied by most of her follow- 
ers ; and she had proselytes wherever she went. Her authority 
over them was absolute. Upon one occasion, at New Milford, in 
Connecticut, she proclaimed a fast for thirty days on bread and 
water. Most of them strictly obeyed; some of them becoming 
almost what Calvin Edson was in later years. After remaining in 
New England and Pennsylvania about twenty years, she came to 
Western New York ; she was then near forty years of age. The 
author has a copy of the " New Haven Gazette and Connecticut 
Magazine," of date, ]March 1787, that has a letter in it from a 
Phihidelphia correspondent, written at the time " The Friend," and 
her followers were in Philadelphin, on their way to this region. 
Her personal ajipearance is thus described : — " She is about the 
middle size of woman, not genteel in her person, rather awkward in 
her carriage ; her com])lexion good, her eyes remarkably black and 
brilliant, her hair black and waving with beautiful ringlets upon her 
neck and shoulders ; her features are regular, and the whole of her 
face thought by many to be perfectly beautiful. As she is not to be 
supposed of either sex, so this neutrality is manifest in her personal 
appearance: — She wears no cap, letting her hair hang down as 
has been described. She wears her neckcloth like a man ; her chemise 
is buttoned around the neck and wrists. Her outside garment is a 
robe, under which it is said she wears an expensive dress, the fash- 
ion of which is made to correspond neither with that of a man nor 
woman. Her understanding is not deficient, except touching iier 
religious fanatacism. She is very illiterate, yet her memory is very 
'.;reat ; artful in discovering many circumstances which fall out 
among her disciples. On all occasions she requires the most extra- 
ordinary attentions that can be bestowed upon her; one or more 
of her disciples usually attend upon her, and perform the most 
menial service. Her pronunciation is after the peculiar dialect of 
the most illiterate of the country people of New England. Her 
preaching has very little connexion, and is very lengthy ; at times 
cold and languid, but occasionally lively, zealous and animated." 

Enlarging upon the account she first gave of her rising from a 
bed of sickness — dead in the flesh — she assumed that there was 
nncc such a person as Jemima Wilkinson, but that " ^\\e died and 
went to lieaven ; after which the Divine Spirit re-animated that 
same bodv, and it arose from the dead ; now this divme inhabitant 


is Christ Jesus our Lord, the friend to all mankind, and gives his 
name to the body to which he is united, and therefore, body and 
spirit conjointly, is the "Universal Friend." She assumed to have 
two "w^nesses," corresponding in all respects to those prophccled 
m Rev Chap xi, from 3d to 13th verse. These were James Par- 
ker and Sarah Richards. 

But the reader will be principally interested in the advent of this 
singular personage and her followers to the Genesee country • _ 
Previous to 1780, they were living in detached localities. In that 
year, they met in Connecticut, and resolved upon finding some "fer- 
tile unsettled region, far from towns and cities, where the ' Univer- 
sal Friend" and her followers, might live undisturbed in peace and 
plenty, in the enjoyment of their peculiar religion.' They delega- 
ted three of their number, Abraham Dayton, Richard Smith and 
Thom.s Hathaway to look for such a location. They went to 
1 hiladelphia and traversed on horseback the interior of Pennsylva- 
ma Passing through the valley of Wyoming, they came across a 
backv/oodsman by the name of Spalding, who furnished them with 
a glimpse of the region around Seneca Lake, and gave them direc- 
tions hovv to find it. Following his directions, they went up the 
river, and falling upon the track of Sullivan's army, reached the 
loot of Seneca Lake, and from thence proceeded to Cashon<T creek 
where they found two French traders, (De Bartzch and Poudrv )' 
who told them that they had travelled through Canada, and through 
the Western territory, and had seen no where so fine a country as the 
one they were in. A few days exploration, satisfied the land look- 
ers and they returned by the route they came, to inform the Friend 
of the result of their travels. 

In June 1787, twenty five of the Friends, among whom were 

a grant in tlio present townnl, p < 'l m'ford C W v? ,"'""' ■'"-*^«''''l' ■''«'l ■"•■"lo 
irrat... whc.nthcG,,v,.rn.w-aMnun(a],k .w ^'h ' ^ '^^'PanUions were made to enii- 
j.oso,l Uumi t,. bo Q.4.rr f 4, n 1 1 , "^ --^'^''^ '^" excuse that he had .np- 
Imt h-arning tha ll^ i 'r ,' • now o .f ' f '''T":^ l" ^^""^' "I'inion in EnK]an('l ; 
Ho howcvo'^- ,nado tfio I'r ni c/T D^ nt ,''r T^ '' ^"'^""'"^'^t^'^r en.igratinn. 
.nont dnties .tc.-as h^^^ i ,n i S,' .'l i/"'';'"''',"- '•^■' l'^' '"''' t^'nns,- settle- 

6 1 




Abel Botsford, Peleg and John Briggs, and Isaac Nichols, with their 
families, met at Schenectady, and embarked on board of batteaux 
for the promised land. At Geneva they found but a solitary log 
house, and that not finished, *' inhabited by one Jennings." They 
went up the east side of the Lake to " Ajiple Town," where they 
remained several days searching for a mill site. The noise of the 
falling water, of the outlet of Crooked Lake, attracted them to the 
west shore of Seneca I^ake. Passing up the outlet they came to 
the Falls, and exploring the neighborhood, fixed upon i as their 
location. They began their settlement in Yates County, about, one 
mile south of the present village of Dresden. It was August when 
t'^ey arrived. They prepared ground and sowed a field of wheat 
in common, and the next season, 1789, several small fields of wheat 
were sown.* 

The first land purchase was made of the State, upon the " Gore," 
previous to the running of the new pre-emption line. It was a 
tract of 14,000 acres, situated in the east part of the present town 
of Mile, and south east part of Starkey. William Potter and 
Thomas Hathaway were delegated to make the purchase. They 
applied to Governor George Clinton for a grant of land, which was 
refused of course, but he assured them that if they would attend 
the public sale in Albany, they would be able to obtain land at a 
satisfactory price. They attended the sale and bought the tract 
above named for a little less then 2s per acre. Benedict Robinson 
and Thomas Hathaway, soon after ])ought of Phelps and Goriinm 
the town of Jerusalem for Is 3d per acre.f 

The first grist mill in Western New York, was built by three of 
the society ; — Richard Smith, James Parker and Abraham Dayton. 
The site was the one now occupied by the " Empire Mills,"" two 
and a half miles from Penn Yan. It was built in the summer and 
fall of 1789 and fiour was made in it in that year. Here also was 

■'TliiscoiTc'dstlic very common impression, that the first v.-hcat was liarvcstcd at 
Cannmiaicrna, and Vidor, in the fall of 1700. Tho wheat sown by the Friends must 
iuive been liarvcstud in 1789. 

tit was anile at that early period, with Messrs. Theljis cfc Gorhain, in soliin"- a 
picked townslnp, to require tlie pureliascr to draw for aiiotlier township at flio smie 
]nice. Jvobiiison and Hathaway after puivliasiui;' Jerusalem, drew what is now tJie 
town of Gcneseo. The Friend o})jeeto(l lo her people "tradin-,' and buyins; pro|)ertv 
at a distance," and fearing her displeasure, they jjrevailcd uixm Mr. PJi'elps to release 
tlieni Iwm the l)arKain, which he was quite wilhng to do, as he had ascertained the 
Value ot the township. 



opened the first public house by David Waagencr. A son of his, 

Abraham Waggener of Pcnn Yan, now TG^'ycars of arre, well re- 

men.bers seeing the Frencii Duke, Liancourf, at his father's inn.* 

The first framed house in the Genesee country, was built by Enoch 

and Elijah Malin, as a residence for " Tlio Friend." The house is 

still standing, and is occupied by Charles J. Townsend. It is a mile 

north of Dresden, and a half a mile east of S. B. Buckleys. The 

first school in the Genesee country, was opened by Rachef Malin in 

a log roo.ri attached to this house. In 1789, a log meetinrr house 

was built in which "The Friend" preached, and met with her fol- 

lowers. This house stood a few rods south of the . -sidence of S. 

B. Buckley. But this is anticipating pioneer events that belong in 

another connexion. 

Major Benajah Mollory, well known in all this region durino- the 
war of 1812, is yet living, in Lockport, Niagara County. He is 
spoken of in a preceding note as having married the daurrhter of 
Abraham Dayton. This family connexion, (or then anticipated one,) 
brought him to the Friend's settlement at an earlv period after it was 
founded. He was the first merchant there ; and in fact, opened the 
first store m the Genesee Country, other than those connected with 
the Indian trade. From him the author has obtained manv remin- 
iscences, some of which are applicable to the subject in hand He 
gives the names of principal heads of families who were followers 
of "The Friend," and located in the settlement during the earliest 
years:— Abraham Dayton, William Potter, (father of Arnold Pot- 
ter) Asahel Stone, John Supplee, Richard Smith, David Wagrrener 
James Parker, Samuel Lawrence, Benj. Brown, Elnathan ant Jon-' 
athan Botsford, Jessee Brown, Jessee Holmes, Joshua Brown, Barn- 
abus Brown, Nathaniel Ingraham, Eleazor Ingraham, David Culver 
David I^ish, Beloved Luther, John Gibbs, Jacob Waggener, Wm 
feAnfoijI, John Barnes, Elijah Brown, Silas Hunt, Castle Dean, Jon- 
athan Dean, Benedict Robinson, Thomas Hathaway, Besides the^e 
there were unmarried men, and men and women who had been 
separated in adhering to the Friend. The followers were mostly 

Alh3,. .u A,„oncan supno.- .onsS^o/^nffi:,^'" Sl^H;:;"r ^fh ""[T"f " 




respectable men of small property ; some of them had enourrh to be 
called rich m those days. Those whc had considerable property 
gave her a part, or were at least liberal in supplying her wants 
Man and wife were not separated ; but they were forbidden to 
multiply. A few transgressed, but obtained absolution by confes- 
sing and promising not to disobey again. It ^vas generally a well 
regulated community, its members mostly lived in harmony, were 
temperate and industrious. They had two days of re«t in the week 
Saturday and Sunday. At Uieir meetings the' Friend would gener- 
ally speak, take a text preach and exhort and give liberty to others 
to speak. The Friend appeared much devoted to the interests of 
her followers, and especially attentive to them in sickness. Major 
Blallory insists that the old story of her promising to '-walk on the 
water" is wholly false. When Col. Pickering held his treaty with the 
Indians at Newtown Point, nearly five hundred Senecas encamped 
at Friends' Landing on Seneca Lake. They were accompanied by 
Ked Jacket, Cornplanter, and Good Peter, (the Indian preacher,) 
the Rev. Mr. Kirkland, Horatio Jones and Jasper Parrish. Good 
Peter wanted an interview with the " Universal Friend." She ap- 
pointed a meeting-with the Indians and preached to them. Good 
Peter followed hei-, and the Friend wanted his discourse interpre- 
ted. Good Peter objected, saying : — " if she is Christ, she knows 
what I said." This was the meeting upon the bank of Seneca Lake, 
that gave rise to the report alluded to. 

The Friend did not join her colony until the spring of 1789. She 
then came with a reinforcement, a somewhat formidable retinue.* 
Benedict Robinson, the most considerable property holder amono- 
her followers, gave her 1000 acres of land, upon which she resided.? 

\-n3""'"S H^'^^hcT, the Pioneer at the moutli of tlie Genesee l{ivei^;^,nh;;j:;; 
^ewtoNvn Point, and helped l,er on ^vith Ian teams ihrou-di the woods to CteriU 
FWond- r •^"'•^'^r"''r" ^^" accon,pa„ied the expediH,,,!, \ve f 'n^K • Tl ^ 
Sd iec 3 n ^[T^""^ ""^«"'"n^- "-tKeenuillo hini.of a wonum eo ^roll !; 
worn rJo'i" '/','?" y""-'' appertan,n,f. to the ounioy. It seemed to liin. a " o S 

£u iho wil'l ''■' ^"■''' ^'"''^^'^^"'"l hospitality, when his father's fan ilv ea, e 
Iwr ° ^'l^'«'-"^'^-^.»"<l stopped at her residence, on their way to the tienesoe 

w!ir'"' """"", '"f ^''''''"■"^ ^^'^f^^™ "f -^f'-- Robinson, written to Messrs W'.dstrortl, 
J\ Ihanison, an. others, and he is ofte.i to in early ren i dsc ,;; TJ e TS- " 

i^ r''nd Slth'" 7'' '"' ^r"' W-:-"ThisBenedi:-"Zwnsoii aS' 
rn ve •' "I M V 1 '"■•",'• '•'^;;"'^'"^"" ;'" ^^^^\^ "f ^'00 acres, ]o(l of which are im- 

row A|,V, . '^ "f ' '^'■%''"" 'J"' <;""tt'nt.s hnns<.lf with breakinL' it no with a har- 

ineuu, lieinlened from ks conversation that his confidence iu her divine mi*.k.u 



Her business would seem to have been conducted by her female 
witmess, Sarah Richards, who did not arrive at the settlement until 
June, 1789. Some correspondence of hers, and memorandums, 
have been preserved : — 

" Jehusalem, 1st of Gth ino., 17D1. 
" I arrived with Rachel Miilin, Elijali Malin, E.Mclutable Smitli, Maria, an.l most of 
the Friend's family, ami the goods which the Friend sent Elijah to assist in briugin" 
on. We all an'ived on the west side of Seneca Lake, and reached the Friend's house 
which The Universal Friend had got huilt for our reception ; and with great joy, met 
The Friend once more in time, and all in walking health, and as well as usual. 

"In the year '91, settled witli Elijah Malin, being in trust for The Universiil Friend. 
Attliistime, reckoned and settled with him forbuildiag Tiw; Friend's house, and pjiss- 
ed receii)ta the 24th of the sixth montli, 1791. SARAH RICHARDS." 

"Reckoned and settled with Richard Hathaway for goods which the carpenters took 
up at his store for building The Friend's jLouse in Jerusalem. Settled, I say, tliis 3d 
of the 7th month, 1791. SARAH RICHARDS." 

"About theSGth of the 7th month, 1791,1 and Rachel Maliu were taken sick about 
the time of wheat harvest, and remained sick, aud were not able to go out of the house 
until the ground was covered with snow ; but entirely confined to our chamber, wliich 
finished up the year 1791. SARAH RICHARDS." 

Sarah Richards died in '94 or '5, and was succeeded in all her 
relations to The Friend, by Rachel Malin. The father of The 
Friend never became her convert, but her brother, Stephen, and 
sisters, Mercy, Betsey and Deborah, followed her in her advent to 
this region. 

The meetings of this singular sect, were conducted very much 

was somewhat weakened. The Duke might liave added a circumstance that hid 
somtnyhat interfered with the relati<.ns of the Friend and one of her most prominent 
(lisciplfts. He had mtracted one of her rules, by mairving. He was in tliis wav the 
hrst transgressor among the followei-s. Susmnah lin'.wn had been his liouskeeper 
1 hos. Hathaw.'jy having laisiness with Benedict eariy one morning, went to his house 
where he^f.mnd Mr. \Villianison,wh.. told him that Benedict being unwell was vet 
in bed. Mr. A\ il lanison leading Die way, they botli went up stairs iind found lieno- 
dictin bed with his liousekeei)er, Susannah; "Good .Lord! Benedict, what does this 
mean ? was the ejaculatK.n and ii.teiTogation of Thomiis, accomi)anied by an ui iliftiii'r 
cU lus hands, in token of astonisl.nient and horror, at what he called "shameful, sin- 
tid. and disgraceful.' Mr. Williamson replied :_"Whv, ISenedict g.,t tired <,fs!eenin.r 
Mlone, and crept m bed with Su.sannah." Thomas hWtened to inlbrm The Friemf 
wlio was dnpleased but avoided an open ri'pturo, with onewlioseposltionand influence 
made liim too valuable to admit of ex-communication. The harsh features of theaifair 
were so- n s(itfene<l, by Mr. Williamson, who announced that lie was then on his wav 
trom ( iiandaigua, where he had taken out his commission as a Judge of Ontario county 
and had legrJly married Benedict and Susannah before tliev had ventured to i.laco 
llieniselves i,i tlie po.sition in whicli 'I'homas had found them. ' The eccentric mairia<re 
proved a hnypy one to the parties, whatever it m.ay have been with the offended Jenu- 

ina. The living descendants in the first di 

nah, are : — DiCDaniel Robi 

nson ofFarmiiiijtoii. Out 

j:ree. ofthe olfending Benedict aiul Susan 

county fMr.s. Dr. Hatniaker of 

Mo \ ates county ; Jaines C Robinson, P. M., lenn Van ; and Phoebe, a maide 
ilauglitei, who residesj at the old homestead. 




'p I ■ 




after the manner of the legitimate Society of Friends. The con- 
gregation would sit in silence until some one would rise and speak. 
While Tiie Friend lived, ..he would generally lead in the public 
speakmg, and after her, Rachel Malin. In addition to this, and the 
usual observance of a period of silence, with each familv, upon sit- 
tmg down to their meals, " sittings " in each family, upon Sunday 
evenmgs, was common. The family would observe perfect silence 
tor an hour or more, and then rise and shake hands. " I remem- 
ber," says Mr. Buckley, "when I was a boy, many such 'sittings ' 
at my grand-father's, and I always rejoiced' when they commenced 
shakmg hands to end the tiresome stillness." 

_ It has already been observed, that the French Duke, Liancourt, 
visited The Friend's settlement in 1795. He became much inter- 
ested in the new sect, made the acciuaintance of The Friend, was 
a guest, with his travelling companions, at her house, and attended 
her meetings. For one so generally liberal and candid, he writes 
of all he saw there in a vein of censure, in some respects, unde- 
served. She and her followers, were then at variance with their 
neighbors, and the Duke too readily listened to gossip that im|)lica- 
ted the private character of this fbunder of a sect, and added them 
to his (justifiable, perhaps,) denunciations of religious imposture. 
Her real character was a mixed one : — Her first incentives were 
the imaginings of a mind highly susceptible of religious enthusiasm 
and strongly tinctured with the supernatural and spiritual, which' 
in our own day, has found advocates, and has been systematizctl in- 
io a creed. The physical energies prostrated by disease, the 
dreamy mind went out, and, following its inclinations, wandered 
.'.n celestial spheres, and in a " rapt vision," created an ima^e, some- 
thing to be 01- to personate. Disease abating, consciousness return- 
ing, this image had made an impress upon the mind not to be readily 
effaced. She became an enthusi;-t ; after events, made her an im- 
postor. All founders of sects, upon new revelations, have not had 
even so much in the way of induction to mitigate their frauds. A 
sect that has arisen in our own day, now counting its tens of thou- 
sands, the founders of a State, have nothing to show as their basis, 
but a bald and clumsy cheat ; a designed and pre-meditated fraud.' 
It had no even distempered religious enthusiasm ; no sick man or 
sick woman's fancy to create a primitive semblance of sincerity or 
integrity of purpose. The trance or dream of Jemima Wilkinson 



honestly enough promulgated at first, while the image of its creation 
absorbed all her thoughts and threw around her a spell that reason 
cou <1 not dissipate, attracted the attention of the superstitious and 
credulous, and. perhaps, the designing. The motives of worldly 
ambition, power, distinction; the desire to rule, came upon her 
when the paroxism of disease in body and mind had subsided and 
made her what history must say she was, an impostor and false 

And yet there were many evidences that motives of benevolence, 
a kindly spirit, a wif;h to promote the temporal wellfare of her M- 
lowers, was mixed up with her impositions. Her character was a 
compound. If she was conscious herself o^ imposition, as we must 
suppose she was, her perseverence was mc "traordinary Never 
through her long cr.reer di<l she for one m. aent yield the preten- 
sions she made upon rising from her sick bed and goin- out upon 
her mission. With gravity and dignity of demeanor," she would 
confront cavillers and disbelievers, and parry their assaults upon 
her motives and pretensions; almost awing them to a surren- 
der of their doubts and disbelief. Always self-possesserl, no evidence 
could ever be obtained of any misgivings with her, touching her 
spiritual claims. Upon one occasion James Wadsworth called to 
see her. At the close of the interview, she said :— " Thou art a 
lawyer ; thou hast plead for others ; hast thou ever plead for thvself 
to the Lord ?" Mr. Wadsworth made a courteous replv, when re- 
questmg all present to kneel with her, she prayed fervently, after 
which she rose, shook hands with Mr. Wadsworth, and retired to 
her apartment. 

The reader must make some allowances for the strong prejudices 
of the French Duke, who upon the whole, made but poor returns 
for the hospitalities he acknowledges. He says: — "She is con- 
stantly engaged in personating the part she has assumed ; she des- 
canted in a sanctimonious, mystic tone, on death, and on the happi- 
ness of having been an instrument to others, in the way of their 
salvation. She gave us a rhapsody rj prophecies to read, ascribed 
to Dr. Love, who was beheaded in Crom '.veil's time. Her hypoc- 
risy may be traced in all her discourses, actions and conduct, and 
even in the very manner in which she manages her countenance " 

The Friend's commn.nity. at fi.-,:t flourishing and successful, berran 
to decline in early years. The seclusion and separation from "the 



pViBr f . 

selected ,„o fine « region ,o make a monopolv of i,. The tide o 
m,s,at,o„ reached, hen,, and before thev ha.fgo, fairly undefvav 
they were surrounded wilh neighbors who hfdli.UeS "^1 
Fnend or sympathy with her followers. The relations of "e " 
borhoo , town and county soon clashed, militia tnusters eam^ln 

propcitj sold. Ihn Fnend was a Ion? time harr..««J -i-H ■-,-)■■ 
menls lor blasphemy, but never convicted While'sh,').„ I'T ' 
»ost of her older followers in the bar, J 'the ^ ef n 1 tl 
ed of the res tratrts imposed upon thetn, by contrasting the r p "w 
leges w,th then- d.sbelieving neighbors, would unharnes., tl mselve, 

Jwo of , lat cmly class of methodist circuit preachers,* that were 
so tndefattguable ,n threading the wood's Lds of his w tern 
fores as were the.r Jesuit predecessors a cenluty befor the n 
found he retreat, and getting a foothold, in a log schod hou "' 
gra ually drew many o/ the young people to their mfetings Mam' 
of the sons t^,d daughters of the followers abjured the faith ^ 

Jemtma died in 1819, or departed, went awa^ as the 
mtphe,. behevers in her divine ehnraeteJ would have ^'kache 
Main, her successor in as well as worldly alli.irs dtd 
about three years stnee. She fcpt up the meetings unti a f^w 
years prev.ous to herdeath. James Brown, and GeorgeCIa A ■ I o 

Zt , f' , tr' ""'""r" "'° P'°"^''>- "'a. she iri e^ 
from The Fnend. The peculiar sect may be said to be eMincT 

.0. more than tln-ee or four are living who even hold ligbti; o t, ' 

ongmal a,.h Even the immediate .successors of Jan ma ad 

Itaehel, he mhentors of the property, and those who ^^1 be 

conservators ol tlieir memories, if not of their faith ar„ ,r, 

their teaching. The old homestead, th v rv ' ncttnrvT 

Universal Friend once with all things appertah n^ to ' -e L " 

ened by her ngid discipline ; is even desecrated Durin. ,|.° 

winter the sounds of music .and dancing have c^^^':^^:: 

once consecrated and venerated walls. nn=For „, ■ ! • 

sketch of Jemima Wilkinson and Iter follitir, 1,' luf ^''ir 

manuserii.ts of Thomas Morris, see Appendix No 7 ' 

'Revs. James Smiilt :ni.lJolm Eruadhcad. 

Tliey had 
The tide of 
'under way, 
faith in The 
ns of neigh- 
i came, and 
i and their 
v.'itii indie i- 
! could kecj) 
nes remind- 
: their privi- 
themselves ; 
!t Robinson. 
,* that were 
his western 
efore them, 
3hool house, 
igs. Many 

way, as the 
it. Rachel 
ifl'iirs, died 
wtil a few 
Clark, who 
3 inherited 
36 extinct ; 
htly to the 
mima and 

should be 
' forgetful 
ary of the 

so chast- 
^is present 
within its 
from the 





[Pioneer settlcmoiits will be taken up in tliis connection, by counties, as they now 
exist. The arrangement will not allow of strict reference to tlie order of time iu 
which events occuiTed ; but it will be found more convenient for the reader than any 
other that could be adopted. 

After Mr. Phelps had concluded the treaty,— before leaving the 
country he made arrangements for its survey into Ranges and Town- 
ships. This was done under contract, by Col. -Hugh Maxwell, who 
completed most of the northern portion of it previous to the close 
of the year 1788 ; and in the year 1789, with the assistance of 
Judge Porter, he completed the whole. The survey of townships 
into farm lots, in cases where whole townships were sold, was done 
at the expense of the purchasers. Judge Porter, Frederick Saxton, 
Jenkins, were among the earliest surveyors of the subdivis- 

Mr. Phelps having selected the foot of Canandaigua Lake, as a 
central locality in the purchase, and as combining all the advanta- 
ges which has since made it pre-eminent, even among the beautiful 
villages of western New York, erected a building for a store house 
on the bank of the Lake. The next movement was to make some 
primitive roads, to get to and from the site that had been selected. 
Men were employed at Geneva, who underbrushed and continued 
a sleigh ruad, from where it had been previously made on Flint creek, 
to the foot of Canandaigua Lake, following pretty much the old 

1. ■» ,j ! 



whtrMt'ohJ'"*''"?''™^' ""•"="" ""'■ "--•■"'» near 
gua outle . No one wintered at Canandaigua in 1788 '9 Earlv 
m the spnng of nso, before .he snow was ofl' JZund Wh 
Sm„h moved his family n-on, Geneva, and oecupi-d the „' store 
house thus making hin.self "he first settler wes of Sene a L ke 
Soon after h,s arrival he huilt a block hottse upon Main s re" up n 

fl s tstoek o hquors was obtained from Niagara, U. C. He wen 

re „ 1™/"|" "^r """"^ °' ""'"'^'^ "-"• i" •■' canoe ■ 
S Sr I ' ;f' --/™"d«cd in a gale, a. ,he mou.i, of the 
Uak Orcha d creek; but he saved n.ost of his stock, and carried it 
to Cananda,gua on pack horses. This primitive tavern a, dihe 
ude store house on the Lake, furnished a temporary JtSpl" place 
for those who arrived in the spring and st,mn,er of 1780 ° ^ 
Early in May 17811, Gen. Israel Chanin arrived at rni,n„ l • 

and selected it as his residence, erecting'a 1^ Lt^e La iT X ! 

-connected with him, and with surveys and land sales la, ,«; 

contemplated. v.»re some eight or ten others, who can . ^ ^ 

ho ,.1, ^i'™"''^' "■"'''■■ ''™" '■"°'h<' '"l^. <hou..h this w^ 

Gen. chapin . -^^^^.:^2:Lt:^:^^£:2:'s::^ 

Ph Ir.' Tr r™' ''•■""• ^°™ "•■"''■ M'-. Walker, a, t mrf 

residence. Others came during the summer, who will be nimed in 
another connection, and before the sittin. in of win e tho 7 
pretty good beginning of a new settlement Ju;^^^^^^^^^ 
a brother of Capt. Horatio Jones, -who still surviveft^ leXr 

Canamlaif,nia was but a W on,, ti I ^ "''"'"','" "'«""- tin.,,.. His stay at 

At the M,;^Ti,s imit at Oj, .sir ; hi ""''■" ''"'" ^''i'l'l^'.Ywl »« "n Indian iiitor eter 
OMlc's of land o ,. W c^^^^^^^^^^^^ l'.'"""^ f;>'^ '" 'i''i ■•"ul Horatio .J,„u,ssix ^^ ,"': 

Leirc.stcT. A .la,,,-?! t",^;,,' ','^..''"'*\'^'''^ <..'.'asio,H..l hy an acci.l...t at a l)all ,,], .' 
D)Mix.BelJ, late CmialCuma^i;;;:^? """"' ''''^'"' "^ ^"^" ^^"'^ ^'^^ ^, 



> made near 
e Canandai- 
, '9. Early 
und, Joseph 
"le log store 
3neca Lake, 
street, upon 
ivern. His 
He went 
loe ; on his 
outh of the 
d carried it 
ni, and the 
pping place 

the outlet ; 
! that were 
it the same 
1 this was 
the out-let 
!rs, besides 
agent of 
3ned a log 
2d for his 
named in 
-re was a 
H. Jones, 

diiniii-- tJio 
flis Slay at 

ivcr I'liclps 
''• Hi' wiia 
ni(if8('(l t'ur 

( tin. Jiidi- 

■vUh uwnt. 
I' J'l'tv. ill 

with great distinctness, early events, was one of the party who 
opened the road from Geneva to Canandaigua, and from Canandai- 
gua to the landing place on the outlet, in 1788, revisited the locality 
again in August, in 1709. He says : -- " There was a great change. 
When we left in the fall of '88 there was not a solitary person 
there ; when I returned fourteen months afterwards the place was 
lull of people ;— residents, surveyors, explorers, adventurers ; houses 
were going up ; it was a busy, thriving place." 

Mrs. Hannah Sanborn, is now the oldest surviving resident of 
the village ; and with few exceptions, the oldest upon Phelps and 
Gorham's purchase. She is now in her 88th year, exhibiting but 
little of the usual infirmities of that advanced age, with faculties, 
especially that of memory of early events, but slightly impaired, 
The author found her in high spirits, even gay and humorous, en- 
joying the hearty laugh of middle age, when her memory called up 
some mirthful reminiscence. Upon her table were some of the 
latest publications, and she alluded in conversation to Headly's fine 
descriptions in his " Sacred Mountains," as if she had enjoyed them 
with all the zest of her younger days. She had just finished a letter 
in a foir hand, shewing but little of the tremor of age, which was to 
be addressed to a great grand daughter. To her, is the author 
largely indebted for reminiscences of early Tioneer events at Can- 

Early in the spring of 1790, Mr. Sanborn came with his wife and 
two young children to Schenectady, where he joined Judah Colt, 
and the two chartered a boat, with which they came to the head 
of navigation on the Canandaigua outlet.* Mr. Sanborn moved 

IsoTH.— >,atlianu-l Saiiboni, llio luisbnml of Mre. Sajiboni, died in 1814. There i- 
wareoly a pioneer .scM lev m tlio Ciunesee counli'v, tliat did not know tlie earh' landlord 
and landlady. -Ir* S. was Ihe da.i-hler of Jann-, Gonld, of Lvni.. Conn., 'i- ihc aunt 
ol Ji'.nies Gould ol Albany. Her son John and William ro.side in lliiiiois. Her el.lest 
.lautriiter — tlic lirst born m Canandaijrua.— now over (iO years of a;,'e, is tlie wife of 
)r. Jacol)sol Canandai,i.-ua; another (laui;hter is the wife of Henrv Fellow.s Ivsq. of 
lenlield; another, is Jlrs. Jh'astus Granger of Hulfalo ; and a foiirth i.s a maiden 
daughter, residing willi her iiKitlier. 

* Mrs. S.srivcR a c;raphic account of this journev. The last the j larty slept 
lu atti.'r leaving .^eheneetady unlil tliey arrived at the cubhi on llie Canaiu.aiguu out- 
let, was the then one lo^; house in Utioa. It was crowch'd with boatmen from Nia^'- 
ara. Mrs. S. spread lier bed ujion the iloor for herself, lui.sbaiul and ehihhvn, and the 
weaned boatmen liegged tlie inlvilege of hiving their heads up,)n its Imrders. The 
Iloor was covered. Alter tliat they camped wlierever iiii,dit overtook them. On tlie 
0.swego lliver they took po, of a deserteil camj., antl just as they had got their 
Hupper jirepiired two sfotit IiuUans came who claimetl the camp aud threatened a sum- 




H 'i 

intchB loghut ,ha, ho hnd built in the R„bi„.on „e!ghborl,oo,l, where 

some Mrs S chose to go u-here she could have more than one 
mtt' s::^Z/f' ,™'-- . Tl.ey removed to Canan. „„ 
on h-nl; r\ *"= '°"."'' 'here .n May, 1790, Joseph Smith, hvtv- 
on ba„K of Lake, Darnel Brainard in a hltle log hou e near the pre 3 
en, oen,e.ry. Cap, Martin Dndley, in ,(,e hons^ built b^M VV t- 
er James D. a log house down near the Lake; Gen. Cha, in 
wo had been on the fall before had built a small framed house'f" 
h.s famdy, a few rods below Bemis' Bookstore. Mr. Sanborn 
moved ,n o „ untd a small framed house was erected on the Atwa r 
^ZL f ^^'^7'"= the occupant, opening a tavern, which 

^v.lh ho excep,ionof wha, Joseph Smith ha<l done in the way of 
enter atnment, was the first ,avern west of Seneca Lake, and 
was the only one for four years. It was the home of the votm. 
men who came to Canandaigua for sClemen. ; of advenmre ° 
emigrants, who would stop a, Canandaigua with their families a fe^ 
daj^ ,0 prepare for pushing here and there into the wilderness • 
land surveyors and explorers ; Judges of the early courts andlaw 
yers; ,he ndianUiefs Red .f.acke,, Bran., Farmer's Br^eTc rn-' 
planter who were called ,o Ca„,„daigua often in e.arly years "o 
ransact business with Gen. Chapin, ,he Superi„,e„den^/i„ short 
the prm„„ve ,avern that now would be ieemed of i^ade ua e 
.nenstons or an m„ at some four corners in the country, had W 

m nen.t their'T""'"",' """' "' *"' ''"''^ 1^=™'" ■ ""^ »f --V 
eminent m their day, and even now blended with all the earlv his- 
tory of he Genesee Country. Mrs. Sanborn enumerates amonc- 
her early guests, many of them as boarders: -Oliver vZJ 
Charles Williamson, Aaron Burr, Thomas Morris, Rev. Mr S' 
nd, Augustus and Peter B. Porter, James and Wilham Wadswo h 
the early Judges of the Supreme court of this State. Bishop CT ' 
Joseph and Benj. Ellicct. Philip Church, Louis Le C,™teC 
Chailes and Dugald Cameron, Vincent Matthew. Kathane W 
Howell, John Greig, Horatio and John H. Jones llobert T o ,„' 
Jeremiah Mason, Philetu. and John Swift, ^n IIow ' t^yTe ' 
Lh»^_Cc^t^man Bogert, Samuel Ilaight, Timothy Hosmer,' 



iiood, where 
ig and lone- 
re than one 

mith, Iivir»'jr 

ar the pres- 
lAIr. Walk- 
en. Chapin 
d house for 
•. Sanborn 
'le Atwater 
ern, which 
le way ol" 
Lake, and 
the vounfr 
lilies a few 
i'ilderncss ; 
I, and law- 
her, Corn- 
years to 
; in short 
y, had for 
I of many 
3arly his- 
!S amonrr 
I' Phelps, 
^fr. Kirk- 
)p Chase, 
aniel W. 
'■ Troup, 

S. says it 


Arnold Potter, Benedict Robinson, J<?niima Wilkinson, Samuel B. 
Ogden, John Puller, Samuel Street, ana Timothy Pickering. Few 
of all of them are now living, and yet the busy stirring landlady, of 
whom they were guests, most of them in their early \ nrs, lives to 
i-emember them and speak tamiliarly of their advents to this 

Mrs. Sanborn well remembers the Pickering treaty of '94. As 
it was known that Col. Pickering, the agent, would come prepared 
to give them a grand feast, and distribute among them a large 
amount of money and clothing, the attendance was very general. 
For weeks before the treaty, they were arriving in squads from all 
of their villages and constructing their camps in the woods, upon 
the Lake shore, and around the court house square. The little 
village of whites, was invested, over run witli the wild natives. 
It seemed as if they had deserted all their villagr>s ana transferred 
even their old men, women, a? 1 children, to the feast, the carousal, 
and the place of gifts. The night scenes were wild and picturesque ; 
their camp fires lighting up the forest, and their whoops and yells 
creating a sensation of novelty, not unmingled with fear, with the 
far inferior in numbers who composed the citizens of the pioneer 
village, and the sojourners of their own race. At first, all was peace 
and quiet, and the treaty was in progress, beeves had been slaughter- 
ed sufficient to supply them all with meat, and liquor had been care- 
fully excluded ; but an avaricious liquor dealer, secretly dealt out 
to them the means of intoxication, and the council was interrupted, 
and many of the Indians became troublesome and riotous. Gen. 
Chapin however suppressed the liquor shop, harmony was restored, 
and the treaty concluded and the gifts dispensed. A general ca- 
rousal followed, but no outrages were committed. They lingered 
for weeks after the council, dis[)laying their new broadcloths and 
blankets, silver bands and broaches.* 

Samuel Gardner was the first merchant in Canandaigua ; he 
married a sister of \Ym Aiitis ; hi^i store was in a log building. 
Thaddeus Chapin was the next. 

* Jutlgt! Porter was then in C;uii:i>(li»ic!iia iutiiii; as the a!,'oiit ol' riiclps ami GurliMin, 
ij-.Uie iiainu of liis j)rin('i|)als, lie Juul lo niakiMlu'ni ])r("'er.isol' provisions and wliiskcy 
wiicn they came to Canamhiiii-iia, and tliat was pretty often. Uiithe oeoasion alhide'd 
to \\v denied an Indian wliiskey, tt'llinfj,' liini it was all ''one. "No, no," replied tlio 
Indian, " Genesee FulLs never dry." 'this was a shrewd allnsion to the j^nft to rhol]i8 
and Gorbam of the enormous " Mill Lot," -s^hieli embraced the Ueuoriee FuHs. 





During the 


age,,,, who h JZll'!!?' ""T r"":- '"^ '"""" °^ "- 

I'liys ciaii was T Dr A.u ^' '" '^anandaigiu. Ihe nearest 

been left hy a travel e. A, w ? , " "'"=" " '''"^'' "'»' '''"I 

Se, ;:!,tr^^el.r"'se''"=""'"°'■«""'^^'■""'■"«^"^--■ 
M,■. Sanborn Ie,l the ZT^ ^""'°"' ''"" '«'"' l"-^ •'«'>" Call ; 


f.-o.n eight, to „„ hnn,,red taa /e S and tl Wh™ r"", h'"' 

ormeart. » 'M fru,ts — whortleberries, blackbrnle^ v:;i,i „l 
crab.ap,,,e.,, cranberric-.,, .,„-awberries, ,-a pber e I we^ S "^ ■'' 
.e,,. sea™, and furnished a prett/g J;;b:?i;,,eX\ ,U ^.^t^" 
"near ct" , T '""" ™ C-anda.gua Lake, a, the Old Gas- ' 


saucei, Dy Ails, feanborn, m 1794 •it n tpi nnvt,- i , 

■nuel, talked of; i, ,„arked an e,-a ' ' ^' '■""'' "'"' " """S 

Ebenczer Allan is well ,.e,„e,nbered a. Cananrtaigna, as he is in 
all tile I'joneer sett emonf? l\r,.o c i , " 

...est on his way ^Z^J'^T - " "' ''' ''°"'= ""' 
I- two half-blood daaghte s ehoo ' i! .r,'" ''''''' '" f'"- 

-Iwas^t that period what .be'tene": ':tJr^T:£^^ 

iier of the 
nton, died, 
le nearest 
■s destitute 
it that ha(! 
heiiig an 
first rch\i^- 
ssee Coun- 
ling Judge 
ohn CalJ ; 
ere being 
lith,* wlio 
next was 

plentj^ of 
sh. The 
■ere easi- 
■ould kill 
lien they 
for Hour 
i plums, 
lenty in 
31d Cas- " 
J supply 
'egan to 
irst dish 
;i a tea- 
a thing 

e is in 
ing her 
) plact.! 
lied a 



" Shin-ne-wa-na," ( a gentleman ; ) but stories of his barbarity in 
the Border Wars, were then so rife, that he was treated with 
but httle respect. Sally,* the Senecu mother, with all a mother's 
fondness, came as far as Canandaigua to bid her daugiiters good 

In July, 1790, the heads of families in T. 10, R. 3, (Canandai- 
gua) were as follows : — Nathaniel Gorham, jr., Nathaniel Sanborn; 
John Fellows, James D. Fish, Joseph Smith, Israel Chapin, John 
Clark, Martin Dudley, Thineas Bates, Caleb Walker, Judah Colt, 
Abner Barlow, Daniel Brainard, Seth Ilolcomb, James Brockle- 
bank, Lemuel Castle, Benjamin Wells, John Freeman. Before the 
close of 1790, there was a considerable accession to the popula- 

The first town meeting of the town of Canandaigua, was held in 
April, 1791. It was "opened and superintended by Israel Chapin," 
who was chosen Supervisor; and James D. Fish was chosen Town 
Clerk. The other town officers were as follows : — John Call, Enos 
Boughton, Seth Reed, Nathan Comstock, James Austin, Arnold Pot- 
ter, Nathaniel Potter, Israel Chapin, John Codding, James Latta, 
Joshua Whitney, John Swift, Daniel Gates, Gamaliel Wilder, Isaac 
Hathaway, Phineas Bates, John Codding, Nathaniel Sanborn, Jared 
Boughton, Phineas Bates, Othniel Taylor, Joseph Smith, Benjamin 
Wells, Hezekiah Boughton, Eber Norton, William Gooding, John 
D. Robinson, Jabez French, Abner Barlow. 

"Voted. That swine, two months old and upwards, going at large, 
shall have good and sufficient yokes." 

" Voted, That for every full-grown wolf killed in the town, a 
bounty of thirty shillings shall be paid." 

The reader, with names and locations that have occurred and 
will occur, will observe that these primitive town officers were 
spread over most of all the eastern portion of Phelps and Gorham's 
Purchase. It was the first occasion to bring the Pioneers together. 
Mutual acquaintances were made ; friendship, good feeling, tiiliari- 
ty, athletic games, (says Mrs. Sanborn,) were the order of^he day. 

1 of the 
vc'i', not 

Note. -When the Scneca.s ut tlie Morris treaty, deeded four square miles at Mount 
Moms, to Allan, m trust for C hloe and Sally Allan, one conditio,, if the trust wa^ t^a 
he slH.M a have them tau-:ht "rendrng and siting, sewing, and other useful art.; ac- 
cordui!,' to the custom of while people." ^a^^-^.^i. 



In April, 1792, the town meeting was "opened and inspected by 
Israel Chapin and Moses Atwater, Esqs." Most of the officers 
were re-elected. Eighty pounds were raised to defray the expen- 
ses of the town. In this year i!:r, record of a road' was made, 
which ran Irom " Joseph Kilbourn's house to the shore of the Lake •" 
and another, from "Sw.;fs ashory to west line of No. 13, R. 2 
near Webb Harwood's ;" another, •' from Swift's to Canandaigua ;" 
and others, leading "from the square in Canandaigua," in different 

Town meeting, 1793, it was voted that fence viewers "examine 
the size and dimensions of hog yokes ;" tiie wolf bounty was raised 
to %5. In this year, twelve scalps were produced; among the 
narnea of those who claimed bounty, were : - Thaddeus Chapin, 
William Markham, Benjamin Keys, Gamaliel Wilder, Daniel Cha- 
pin, Israel Reed. Roads from "Canandaigua to John Coddings •" 
"from Nathan Comstock's to Webb Harwood's;" "from old pre- 
emption line to Canandaigua Mills;" "from Mud Creek Hollow to 
Capt. Peter Pitts' ;" and many others, were surveyed this year. 
The early road surveyors were: — Gideon Pitts, Jairus Rose, 
Jonathan Edwards, Jabez French. 

By the tovva records of 1791, it would seem that Annanias M 
Miller had a mill in operation on Mud Creek. Roads were recorded 
tins year, "from Canandaigua to Jerusalem;" "from Jerusalem to 
Gerundegut." This year, Othniel Taylor presented six wolf scalps. 
Gen. Israel Chapin was Supervisor till 1795, when he was suc- 
ceeded by Abner Barlow. There is recorded this year, the sale of 
several slaves, the property of the citizens of Canandaigua. 

Although the county of Ontario, embracing all of the Genesee 
country, was set off from Montgomery, during the session of the 
legislature in 1789, '90, no organization of the courts was had until 
1793. In June of that year, a court of Oyer and Terminer was 
held at "Patterson's Tavern in Geneva." The presiding judge 
was John Stop Hobart, one of the three Supreme Court judges ap. 
pointed after the organization of the Judiciary in 1777. A grand 
jury was called and charged, but no indictments preferred. The 
first court of Common Pleas and General Sessions, was held at the 
house of Nathaniel Sanborn in Canandaigua, in November, I794 
The presiding judges were, Timothy Hosmer and Charles William- 
son, associated with whom, as assistant justice, was Enos Bough- 

:, f 



pec ted by 
le officers 
he txpen- 
^as made, 
le Lake ;" 

12, R. 2, 
idaigua ;" 


ras raised 
Tiong the 
3 Chapin, 
niel Cha- 
addings ;" 
old pre- 
lollow to 
!his year, 
us Rose, 

anias M. 
isalem to 
If scalps, 
ivas suc- 
e sale of 

1 of the 
lad until 
ner was 
g judge 
dges ap- 
A grand 
i. The 
d at the 
r, 1794. 


ton. Attornies, Thomas Morris, John Wickham, James Wads- 
. worth, Vincent Matthews. There was a number of suits upon the 
calendar, but no jury trial. The organization of the court would 
seem have been the principal business. There was, however, a grand 
jury, and one indictment was found. 

The next session of the court was in June, 1795. James Parker 
was an associate justice. Peter B. Porter and Nathaniel W. Howell, 
being attornies of the Supreme Court, were admitted to practice in 
the courts of Ontario county. Stephen Ross and Thomas Mum- 
f:-rd were also admitted. At this court, the first jury trial was had 
west of the county of Herkimer. It was the trial of the indict- 
ment that had been preferred at the previous session, for stealing a 
cow bell. John Wickham, as County Clerk, was ex-officio District 
Attorney, but the management of the prosecution devolved upon 
Nathaniel W. Howell. Peter B. Porter and Vincent Matthews 
managed the defence. 

In November, 1795, Moses Atwater was added to the bench. It 
was ordered that " Nathan Whitney be appointed the guardian of 
Parkhurst Whitney, an infant at the age of eleven years." David 
Saltonstall, Herman Bogert, David Jones, Ambrose Hall, Peter 
Masterton, John Nelson, Major Bostwick, George D. Cooper, H. 
K. Van Rensselaer, were admitted as attornies, [most of them non- 

From Book of "Miscellaneous Records," 1797: — Peter B. Por- 
ter as county clerk, records the medical diplomas of Daniel Good- 
win, Ralph Wilcox, Jeremiah Atwater, Moses Atwater, Augustus 
Williams and Joel Prescott. 1799— Chiefs of Seneca Nation ac- 
knowledged the receipt of $8,000 from Gen. Chapin, as a dividend 
upon the sum of $100,000, which the United States government had 
received of Robert Morris, as purchase money for the Holland Pur- 
chase and Morris Reserve, and invested in the stock of the United 
States Bank. The medical diplomas of Drs. John Ray, Samuel 
Dungan, David Fairchild, Arnold Willis, are recorded. Peter B. 
Porter appoints Thomas Cloudesly, deputy clerk. Theophilus Caze- 
nove and Paul Busti appoint Joseph Ellicott and James Wadsworth, 
their lawful attornies. 1800— Robert Troup as general agent for 
Sir William Pultney, appoints Robert Scott local agent. De Witt 
Clinton executes a mortgage to Oliver Phelps, on .in " undivided 
fourth part of 100,000 acres [ying west of the Genesee River." 1801, 

Ill.t i 


i I, 




Peter B. Porter as clerk, makes Aurrustus Porter his deputy. 1803— 
Benj. Barton and Polydore B. Wisner are made appraisers of dam- 
ages incurred by tlie construction of the Seneca Turnpike. 1801— 
Sylvester Tiffany as county clerk appoints Dudley Saltonstall his 
deputy. Thomas Morris appoints John Greii,' his lawful attorney. 
Harry Ilickox files certificate of license to practice medicine. 180(5 — 
John Hornby of the county of Middlesex, Kingdom of G. B. ap- 
points John Greig his lawful attorney. T. Spencer Colman is ap- 
pointed deputy clerk. Phineas P. Bates is succeeded as Sheriff 
by James K. Guernsey. 1807— Oliver Phelps appoints Virtue 
Bronson his lawful attorney. 1808— Stephen Bates as Sheriff ap- 
points Nathaniel Allen deputy. James B. Mower succeeded Syl- 
vester Tiffany as clerk. 1810— Myron Holley is county clerk. 
Canandaigua Library organized. 1811— James B. Mower as clerk 
appoints Daniel D. Barnard his deputy. 

In all the earliest years," the Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga and 
Seneca Indians received their annuities at Canandaigua, which 
made it the place of annual gatherings of those nations, and the 
centre of the Indian trade. 

Although not entitled to it from population, in 1791, by a special 
act, Ontario was entitled to be represented in the Assembly. This 
was not known in the new settlements of Canandaigua, Geneva, 
and their neighborhoods, but in a small settlement that had com- 
menced on the Canisteo in what is now Steuben Co., they were in 
possession of the secret. Col. Eleazor Lindley, under whose auspi- 
cies the settlement was made, collected together a few back woods- 
men, held an election, got a few votes for himself, carried them to 
New York and was admitted a member of the Legislature. The 
whole proceeding was irregular, but there was no one to contest 
the seat, and the Legislature did not wish to deprive the backwoods 
of a representative. General Israel Chapin was its representative 
in 1792. 

In a letter to Sir Wm. Pultney, in 1791, Robert Morris had de- 
clared his intention of settling his son Thomas in the Genesee coun- 
try, as an evidence of his faith in its value and prospects. He 
states that Thomas was then reading law with Richard Harrison 
Esq. by whom he was deemed a " worthy young man." In August 
1791, Thomas Morris v.ith some companions, passed through the 
country, visited Niagara Falls, and on his return, made a conb^dera- 



ble stay at Canandaigua.* He returned and became a resident of 
Canandaigua, marrying a daughter of Elias Kane, of Albany. His 
father having become the purch ser of ihe pre-emption right of 
what was afterwards the Ho 'and ?■ r-haso and Morris' Re^'serve, 
it was probably intended that h • shou: 1 be the local agent. That 
interest however being parted x ', , H hnd much to do with closing 
up his Cither's affairs in this region, ,,,.u in all the preliminary meas"^ 
ures adopted by the Holland Corr,,.M,y, in reference to their pur- 
chase. His father having in .is sale to the Holland Company, 
guarantied the extinguishment of the Indian title, he acted in all 
that aHair as his agent. He was the first representative in Concrress 
from all the region west of Seneca Lake; and as a 
proprietor, and agent, was intimately blended with all the local 
history of this region. Becoming through his father, an early pro- 
prietor of the Allan tract at Mount Morri;^, that locality derives its 
name from him. He was the intimate friend of Mr. Williamson ; 
and in fact, enjoyed the confidence and esteem of all the early 
Pioneers. Like others of that early period, he over-traded in lands, 
shared in his father's reverses, and as early as 1803 or '4, retired to 
the city of New York, where he practiced law, until his death, in 
1848. The author knows nothing of his family, save the fact, that Mr. 
Morris an Engineer upon the southern rail road, and Lieut. Morris 
of the Navy are his sons. 

*; Major Hoops, who was tlicn survoj-inrr for the father, Robert Morris in Stonhnn 
wntestoh„„.S.,,t 1791 :_;< Your «on Thomas is an exceUont wV.Xla . He <^t^ 
lo.s abou a ni.k. troni Canaudaigi.a, nigl,t came ou ; lie n.ade his way thnm ' h .v^„ 
a,.<l over h.lls, and at en.^th espie.l a solitary light at a distance. 'Enter m'th't 
froni whence It proceeded, he asked for lodging, but he appeared in such a questio 
able Shane that it was denied. Upon being tohl who lie was, the <,ccn,,/ut n ado 
amends lor his inciv.hty by turning half a dozen boys and girls n t of th eiri^^d n to 
lu9 own 1 on, turned m, slept till morning among ilees and bed bugs, ^e. ?c tJ^eu 
rose and tnidged on six miles, to Canandaigua, arriving before sun ris?" ' ' 

And another case ol a benighted traveUer. of greater note perhaps, but of far less 

rea nient, had happened years before settlemen't coniniencej :_ j^^.hn Jacob AsS 

with a pack ot Indian goods upon his back, wandere<l from the Indian trail got l5 

111 the low gnmnds at the footof SenecaLake, in an inclement night, wa iZed an 

he howl and he rust ingof wild beasts, until almost morning, whenhe was U ti " 

uild waSi. "" '" '"^'"' """■ '^'" "^^' "''''^'' '"^"^^ *"""^^"'° it' obtained shelter 

Note- Mr Morris, in his manuscripts which were prepared in 1841, savs •-" The 
excursion that has been spoken of was undertaken ty ne. partly from^a desire to 
witness an In.han treaty, and see the Falls of Niagara; am partly wh a S to 
see a country in w Inch iny father, at tliat time had To ex ensivJan interest and with 
the detc.rm,nation o settle n it if I liked it. I was pleased with it, ancr,nkdc p n y 
>nind to settl.. ..f Oiuandai^irua. .-m soon as T .houkl iiave attained he age o of a 5 
myadmisswu to the bar. Accordingly, in the early part of Murcli, 1792, I left New 



John Fellows, who is named among the residents in Canandai- 
gua in lye ,, was in the Massachusetts line during the Revolution, 
with the rank of Brig. General. He was a resident of Sheffield! 
Mass., was sheriff of Berkshire county, and its representative in 
the State legislature. He was one of the associates of Bacon and 
Ada as, in the purchase of East Bloomfield; drawing his share — 
3,000 acres, — on Mud creek, he erected a saw mill there in 1790, 
in company with the late Augustus Porter. Besides this tract, he 
had lands m Canandaigua and Honeoye. He never became a per- 
manent resident of the country — got discouraged, or rather looked 
upon the dark side of things; said there was no use of having 
good wheat lands, if they never were to have any market. He re- 
sold the 3,000 acres on Mud creed ibr 18d. per acre. He died in his 
native town, Sheffield, in 1808. He was the father of Henry Fel- 
lows, Esq. of Penfield, and of Mrs. Daniel Penfield. 

James D. Fish, was first town clerk ; his wife's death was the 
second one in Canandaigua ; and he died in early years. 

John Clark came with Mr. Phelps to the treaty. His trade be- 
ing that of a tanner and currier, he manufactured the first leather 
mthe Genesee country. This was from the hides of the cattle 
driven on to furnish beef for the Indians at the treaty. His vats 
were made by sawing off sections of hollow trees. From this 
small beginning, his business was extended, and in early years his 
' snoe and leather establishment was well known throughout a wide 
region. His wife was the daughter of the early pioneer, Lemuel 
Castle. Mr. Olarke died in 1813, and Mrs. Clark in 1842 Thev 

Luther Cole came into the country with Gen. Israel Chapin 
He was the first to carry the mail from Whitesboro to Canandai^rua ' 
on horseback when the roads would allow of it, and often on foot * 
In winters he would travel with a sleigh, buy goods in Whitesboro 

that handsome town. wW the e .itl^ n mv hon,! 1 '"^'''^■'' "'"' '^^^■" "> 

g^iSe w£ '""" ""* ^' Whitesboro." The Louse is n^ S^^alS^ 
* See Post Office Canandaigua, Appendix, No. 8. 



and sell them in Canandaigua. From this small beginning he be- 
came an early and prominent merchant. His wife was a niece of 
Mrs. Phineas Bates. He died many years since. His sons, Henry 
and James, emigrated to Detroit ; James will be remembered as 
an early and highly gifted poet. 

Dr. Hart was another early physician, and died in early years. 
He married the widow of Hezekiah Boughton, a brother of Jared 
and Enos Boughton, and father of Claudius V. and George H. 

William Antiss emigrated from Pennsylvania, and established 
himself in Canandaigua as a gun smith, at an early period. He 
was employed by Gen. Chapin to make and repair rifles for the In- 
dians, and the white hunters and sportsmen, over a wide region, 
were for a long pc-iod, the customers of his establishment. He 
died in early years, and was succeeded by his son William Antip ■ 
2d, who continued in the business until his death in 1843. The 
sons of Wm. Antiss 2d, are William Antiss of Canandaigua, Robert 
Antiris, who is the successor of his father and grand-father in busi- 
ness. Mrs. Byron Hays and Mrs. Wm. Reed of Canandaigua, are 
daughters of Wm. Antiss 2d. 

In his rambles in June, 1795, the Duke, Liancourt, went from 
Bath to Canandaigua. He staid all night at " Capt. Metcalf 's," and 
mentions the fact that a few years before the Capt. had bought his 
land for is. per acre, and sold a part of it for $3 per acre. He 
says the settlement was " called Watkinstown, from several families 
of that name who possess the greatest property here."* ''Capt. 
Metcalf besides his lands and Inn, possesses a saw mill, where 4500 
feet of boards are cut daily. These boards he sends on the lake to 
Canandaigua, where they are sold for 10s. per 100 feet." " There 
is a school master at Watkinstown, with a salary of twelve dollars 
per month." Speaking of Canandaigua he says : — " The houses, 
although built of wood, are much better than any of that descrip- 
tion I have hitherto seen. They consist mostly of joiner's work, 
and are prettily painted. In front of some of them are small courts, 
surrounded with neat railings. There are two Inns in the town, 
and several shops, where commodities are sold, and shoes and other 


* The Duke was in Naples. rhelp.s and Gorhain aol.l the township to " Watkins 
Harriss & Co." ^ viuuo, 



articles made. The price of land here is three dollars per acre 
without the town, and fifteen dollars within. Speakinir of a visit to 
"Mr. Chipping," * (Chapin) he says he found him surrounded by a 
dozen Seneca Indians, (among whom was Red Jacket,) who had 
come to partake of his whiskey and meat." The Duke was evi- 
dently in bad humor at Canandaigua. His friend Blacons had 
selected the "second Inn, which was far inferior to the first," and 
he says their dissatisfaction was greatly increased, when they were 
" shewn into a corn loft to sleep, being four of us, in company with 
ten or twelve other men," and after he had got to sleep, he says he 
was disturbed by a recruit of lodgers, an old'man and a handsome 
young woman, who I believe was his daughter." At the idea of a 
young woman occupying the same room, with twelve or fifteen of 
the other sex, bethinks his European readers "will scofi; or laugh," 
but he thinks it showed in " an .ulvantageous light, the laudable 
simplicity and innocence of American manners." 

riiineas Bates was a native of Durham, Conn. He came to the 
Genesee country in early summer in 1789, with the early Pioneer, 
Gamaliel Wilder, and remained with him until the fall of the year! 
making the commencement at Wilder's Point, in Bristol. He re- 
turned to Connecticut in the fall, making the journey on foot. 
Early in the spring of 1790, accompanied by his eldest son, 
Stei)hen, his son-in-law, Orange Brace, and several others, he return- 
ed, starting with a yoke of oxen and sled, the party bringing with 
them a year's provision, and some household goods. Arriving at 
Schenectady, they put every thing they could not conveniently 
carry in their knapsacks, on board of abatteaux, left their sled, un- 
yoked their oxen, travelled up the Mohawk, and struck otY into 
the wilderness, preceding the Wadsworths a few weeks. At Onon- 
daga, Mr. Bates bought half a bushel of potatoes, slung them across 
the neck of one of his oxen, brought them ' > Canandaigua, and 
planted them upon some village lots he j ...chased. During the 
summer, he cleared ten acres, and sowed it to wheat. 

Returning to Connecticut late in the fall, in company with Amos 

Hall, Sweet, Samuel Knapp; soon r.fter the party left, they 

encountered a severe snow storm, the snow falling to such a depth 

' Tlic tr.-iiislatnr of tlio Duko'.s "Trnvcl?," iniulc bad work willi names. William 
V\ lulKwui'tli inr iiistaiici', in ciillud Cupt. Watworth." 



as to render their progress extremely slow. Walking in single file, 
one would go forward to break the path, until he wearied out, when 
another would take his place. Anticipating no such delay, they 
had provided themselves with an inadequate stock of provisions, 
and long before they reached Whitestown, the suffering of hunger 
was added to that of cold and fatigue. The carcass of an otter, 
their dog killed in the Nine Mile Creek, was a substitute for more 
palatable food. 

Undismayed by the scene of suffering and privation he had passed 
through, Mr. Bates on reaching home, made preparations for the 
removal cf his family, and in February, 1791, brought them by 
sleighing tc Canandaigua, making the seventh in the new settle- 


He opened a public house at an early day, near the upper end of 
Main-street, which was continued by him and his son for many 
years. He was an early Justice of the Peace, and in all respects, 
a worthy citizen. He died in 1829, at an advanced age. Bring- 
ing with him into the country at so early a period, active and en- 
terprising sons, the family occupied a prominent position for a long 
series of ye;«-s. His eldest son, Stephen, marrying the daughter 
of Deacon Handy of W. Bloomfield, became a successful fa°mer 
in Gorham, was sheriff of Ontario, a member of Assembly, and a 
Senator. In 1845, he emigrated to Sauk, Wisconsin, where he 
died the year fbllowing ; and of a large family of children, but few 
survive. Asher Bates married the daughter of Elisha Steel, of 
East Bloomfield; in 180r-t, moved west of the Genesee river, 'and 
opened a public house on the main road between Caledonia and Le 
Roy; was one of the earliest sheriffs of Genesee; died in 1810. 
An only son studied law with Spencer and Sibley in Canandaigua, 
settled in Detroit, and is now a resident at Honolulu, one of the 
Sandwich Islands, acting in the capacity of the King's attorney or 
counsellor. His first wife was the daughter of Thomas Beals of 
Canandaigua ; the second, is a sister of Dr. Judd, the phydcian of 
the nn'ssionaries in the Sandv.ich lands. The widow of Asher 
Bates is now the wife of Dr. Wm. Sheldon of Le Roy. Phineas 
P. Bates succeeded his father as a landlord in Canandaigua, and 
was for many years a ,;, -rUy sheriiF and sheriff of Ontario.' He 
is the only one of a luge family that survives ; is the occupant 
of a fine farm adjoininr the village of Canandaigua. David C. 





Bates was a farmer near Canandaigua; died in 1849. A daughter 
of the elder Phineas Bates became the wife of John A. Stevens 
the early Printer, and Editor of the Ontario Messenger. An elder 
daughter was the wife of Orange Brace, who has been named in 
connection with the early advent of the family ; in 1806, he be- 
came one of the earliest settlers upon the purchase of Phelps and 
Chipman, in Sheldon, Wyoming county. * 

Phineas P. Bates, Esq., the survivor of the family, who has been 
named, in 1800, was the mail boy from Canandaigua to Fort Nia- 
gara. The mail route had been, established about two years pre- 
vious, and was carried through by Jasper Marvin, who sometimes 
dispensed with mail bags, and carried the contents in a- pocket 
book. Mr. Bates observes that when he commenced carrying it 
for his brother Stephen, who was the mail contractor, it used to 
take six days to go and return. His stopping places over night, 
were at Mrs. Berry's, among the Indians at Tonawanda, and at 
rort Niagara. 

In some reminiscences of Mr. Bates, he observes, that "in 1793 
one of those fatal accidents occurred at Canandaigua, which always 
cast a gloom over small communities. A Mr. Miles, from what is 
now Lima, and a citizen of Canada, were on their way to Massa- 
chusetts Riding i-nto the village, when they were within a few 
rods of Main-street, a tree turned out by the roots, fell upon the 
travellers, killing them both, and one of their horses. What made 
the affair a very singular one, was the fact, that although it was 
raining moderately at the time, there was not the least wind to 
cause the full of tlie tree." 

Dr. Moses Atwater settled in Canandaigua as a physician, at the 
early period of 1791. In some correspondence that passed be- 
tween Gen Chapin and Judge Phelps, there was much gratifica- 
tion nrianifested that their new settlement was to have the benefit 
of a physician. Dr. Atwater enjoyed for a long period an extensive 
practice, and made himself eminently useful in the -ew coun^rv 



He was an early Judge of Ontario county. He died in 1848, at 
the advanced age of 82 years. Samuel Atwater of Canandaigua, 
and Moses Atwater of Buffalo, are his sons ; a daughter became 
the wife of Robert Pomeroy, of Buffalo ; and another, the wife of 
Lewis Jenkins, formerly a merchant of Canandaigua, now a resi- 
dent of Buffalo. Dr. Jeremicih Atwater, a brother of Moses, set- 
tled in Canandaigua in early years. He still survives at the age 
of 80 years, laboring, however, under the infirmity of a loss of 

Mr. Samuel Dungan was a native of Pennsylvania, a student 
with the celebrated Dr. Wistar. He settled in practice in Canan- 
daigua in 1797. He possessed extraordinary skill as a surgeon, and 
in that capacity, was known throughout a wide region. He died 
nearly thirty years since. He left a son and a daughter, both of 
whom are still living. 

Dr. William A. Williams was from Wallingford, Conn. He en- 
tered Yale College at the close of the Revolution, and graduated at 
the early age of sixteen. After passing through a regular course 
of medical studies, he commenced practice in Hatfield, Mass.; but 
m a few years, in 1793, emigrated to Canandaigua, established him- 
self in a large and successful practice, which he retained until near 
the close of a long life, One who was his neighbor for near forty 
years, observes : — " He was a man of plain and simple manners, 
amiable and kind hearted ; at the bed side of his patients, he min- 
gled the consolations of friendship with professional advice ; in 
day or night time, in sunshine or in storm, whether his patients were 
rich or poor, he was the same indefatigable, faithful physician and 
good neighbor. He died in 1933 or '4. Col. George Williams, of 
Portage, and Charles Williams, of Nunda, are his sons. His 
daughters became the wives of the late Jared Wilson, Esq., and 
John A. Granger, of Canandaigua, and — — Whitney, the present 
P. M. at Canandaigua, and Editor of the Ontario Repository. 


The venerable Nathaniel W. Howell, now in his 81st year, is the 
oldest resident member of the Bar of Western New York. His 
native place is Blooming Grove, Orange County, N. Y. The son 

„* ' _i- 





of a farmer, ot a period when farmer's sons were early inured to 
toil, a naturally robust and vigorous constitution was aided bv the 
healthy labors of the field. At the age of thirteen he was placed in 
an Academy in Goshen, founded by Noah Webster, the widely 
known author ; where he remained for nearly two years ; after 
which he entered the Academy at Hackensack, N. J., the Principal 
of which was Dr. Peter Wilson, formerly Professor of langua.'es in 
Columbia College. In May, 1787, he entered the junior cla'ss in 
Princeton College, and graduated, in Sept. 1788. A few months 
after graduating, making choice of the legal profession, he com- 
menced the study of law in the office of the late Gen. Wilkin, in 
Goshen. Remaining there but a short period, he accepted a call to 
take charge of an Academy at Ward's Bridge in Ulster Co.. where 
he continued for over three years ; after which, he resumed the 
study of law in the office of the late Judge Hoffman, in the city of 
New York. He was admitted an Attorney of the Supreme Court 
in May, 1794. 

In May, 1795, lie opened an office in the town of Union, near 
the now village of Binghampton, in Tioga county. The late Gen. 
Matthews was then practicing law in Newtown, now Elmira. The 
two were the only Supreme court lawyers then in the county. 

Judge Howell was admitted as an Attorney of the court of com- 

mon pleas in Ontario in June, 1795, and in the following February, 

removed to Canandaigua, where he has continued to reside until 

the present time. The records of the courts bear evidence of his 

having acquired a large practice in early years. He was one of the 

local legal advisers of Mr. Williamson^ and was employed by 

Joseph Eliicott in his earliest movements upon the Holland Purchase. 

Laying before the author at this present writing, are copies of his 

letters to Mr. Williamson written in 1795, and a letter written with- 

m the present year, in a fair hand, but little marked by the tremor 

of age. Fifty six-years have intervened ! 

In 1799, he was appointed by the council of appointment, on the 
nomination of Gov. Jay, assistant Attornev General fur the five 
western counties of this state, the duties of which office he contin- 
ued to discharge until his resignation in 1802. In 1819 he was 
appointed by the council of appointment, on the nomination of Gov 
pewitt Clinton, First Judge of the county of Ontario, which office 
he hlled ihr thirteen years. He was an early representative in the 



inured to 
ed by the 
s placed in 
le widely 
ars ; after 
! Principal 
iguages in 

class in 
iV months 

he com- 
VVilkin, in 
d a call to 
/O., where 
uined the 
he city of 
ime Court 

ion, near 
late Gen. 
ira. The 

t of corn- 
lide until 
3e of his 
)ne of the 
oyed by 
es of his 
ten with- 
e tremor 

'. on the 
■ the five 
he was 
of Gov 
h office 
e in the 

state legislature, and in 1813, '14, he represented in Congress, the 
double district, composed of Ontario and the five counties to the 
west of it. On retiring from the Bench, he retired from his profes- 
sion, employing himself in the superintendence of a farm and gar- 
den, enjoying good health, v/ith slight exceptions; in summers labor- 
ing more or less with his own hands. 

In a previous work, the author has observed, that there are few 
instances of so extended a period of active participation in the 
affjiirs of life ; and still fewer instances of a life that has so adorned 
the profession to which he belongs, and been so eminently useful 
and exemplary. To him, and to such as him —his early cotem- 
porary. General Matthews, for instance — and others of his cotem- 
poraries that could be named, is the highly honorable profession of 
law in Western New York indebted for early and long continued 
examples of those high aims, dignity, and exalted integrity, which 
should be its abiding characteristics. They have passed, and are 
passing away. If days of degeneracy should come upon the profes- 
sion — renovation become necessary — there are no better prece- 
dents and examples to consult, than the lives and practices of the 
Pioneer Lawyers. 

The first wife of Judge ' Howell was the youngest daughter of 
General Israel Chapin. She died in 1808, leaving two sons and a 
daughter. He married for a second wife, in 1809, the daughter of 
Dr. Coleman, of Anchram, Mass. She died in 1812, leaving three 
sons and a daughter. The surviving sons are : — Alexander H. 
Howell, Thomas M. Howell, Nathaniel VV. Howell, Augustus P. 
Howell. Daughters became the wives of Amasa Jackson of the 
city of New York, and Henry S. Mulligan of Buffalo. 

Dudley Saltonstall was a native of New London, Conn., a grad- 
uate of Yale College. He studied law in the celebrated law school 
of Judge Reeves of Litchfield, and was admitted to practice in the 
court of common pleas of Ontario, in 1795. He had genius, and 
high attainments in scholarship, commenced practice under fovorabla 
auspices ; but aiming high and falling below his aim, in his first 
forensic efforts, he lost confidence in himself, and abandoned the 
profession. He engaged in other pursuits with but little better 
success, and in 1808, emigrated to Maryland, and soon after to 
Elizabeth city, N. Carolina, where he died some fifteen years since. 

•Dudley Marvin did not locate at Canaudaigua within a pioneer 




period, but his name is so blended with the locality, that a brief no- 
tice of him will perhaps be anticipated. He was a native of 
Lyme, Connecticut. His law studies were commenced and com- 
pleted in the office of Messrs. Howell & Greig ; in the absence of 
any classical education, but in its place was a vigorous intellect, 
peculiarly adapted to the profession he embraced. He had not 
Ijeen long admitted to the bar, when he had no superior, and few 
if any equals, as an advocate, in the western counties of this State ; 
indeed, the giants of the law from the east, who used to follow the 
circuits of the old Supreme Court Judges in this direction, found in 
the young advocate of the west, a competitor who plucked laurels 
from their brows they had won upon other theatres of forensic strife. 
" When sitting as a judge," says one of his early legal mentors, " I 
freque-ntly li-stened with admiration to his exceedingly able and elo- 
quent summings up in jury trials. I was once present on the trial 
of an important and highly interesting cause, in which Mr. Marvin 
and the celebrated Elisha Williams were opposed to each other, 
and I thought the speech to the jury of Marvin, was quite as 
eloquent as that of Williams, and decidedly more able. He was, in- 
deed, unsuccessful, but the failure was owing to his cause, and not 
to him. He might well have said witli the Trojan hero : — " Si 
Pergama'dextra defendi possent etiam hac dcfensi fuissent." 

He was twice elected to Congress, in which capacity the high 
expectations that were entertained of his career were somewhat dis- 
. appointed. The new sphere of action was evidently not his forte — 
neither was it to his liking; while the free habits that unfortunately 
so much prevailed at our national capitol, were illy suited to help 
the wavering resolutions of a mind that was wrestling with all its 
giant strength, to throw off chains with which a generous social 
nature, had helped to fetter him. Years followed, in which one who 
had filled a large space in the public mind of this region, was almost 
lost sight of; his residence being principally in Maryland and Vir- 
ginia. He returned to this State, and resumed practice in the city 
of New York, where he continued but a few years ; removing to 
the county of Chautauque, and retiring upon a farm. 

Myron Holley came from Salisbury Connecticut, in 1803, locating 
at Canandaigua. He had studied law, but never engaged in prac- 
tice. He was an early bookseller, and for a considerable time 
clerk of Ontario county. He was a member of the first Board of 






canal commissioners, the acting commissioner in the original con- 
struction of the western division of the Erie Canal, unil the whole 
was put under contract. Soon after the location of the canal he 
became a resident of the village of Lyons. So eminently able and 
faithful were his services as a canal commissioner, that the grateful 
recollection and acknowledgement of them, outlive and palliate the 
mixed offence of fault and misfortune, with which his official career 

Mr. Holley died in 1839, or '40; his widow, the daughter of 
John House, an early Pioneer at Canandaigua, resides in Black 
Rock, Erie county. 

Isaac Davis, an early merchant at Canandaigua, and subsequently 
at Buffalo, married another daughter of Mr. House. She resides 
with her two sons in Lockport. Wm. C. House, a surviving son of 
John House, was an early merchant in Lockport, and lately the 
canal collector at that point ; his wife, the daughter of John G. 
Bond, an early merchant in Rochester. 

Thomas Reals became a resident of Canandaigua, engaging in 
the mercantile business, in 1803. In early years his trade extended 
over a wide region of country, in which he was highly esteemed 
as an honest and fair dealing merchant. The successor of Thad- 
deus Chapin as treasurer of Ontario county, in 1814, he continued 
to hold the office for twenty eight years. As Trustee and Secretary, 
he has been connected with the Canandaigua Academy forty years. 
He was one of the trustees, and a member of the building com- 
mittee of the Congregational Church in 1812; and was one^of the 
county superintendents of the poor, when the Poor House was first 
erected. He is now, in his 66th year, engaged in the active 
pursuits of life ; the Treasurer of the Ontario SaviTigs Bank, a 
flourishing institution of which he was the founder. Mrs. Beals, 
who was the daughter of the early settled clergyman at Canan- 
daigua, the Rev. Mr. Fields, still survives. There are two survi- 
veing sons, one a resident of New York, and the other in Indiana. 
Surviving daughters are: — Mrs. Alfred Field, and Mrs. Dr. Carr, 
of Canandaigua, and Mrs. James S. Rogers, of Wisconsin. 

In 1798, a formidable party of emigrants arrived and settled near 
Canandaigua. It consisted of the families of Benjamin Barney, 
Richard Daker and Vincent Grant. They were from Orange countyi 
and were all family connexions.. With their six or seven teams! 

I' '' 

184 puixps AND goeiiam's purchase. 

and a numerous retmue of foot passengers, and stock, their advent 
is well remembered. They practiced one species of travelling 
economy, that the author has never before heard of among the de- 
vices of pioneer times: — the milk of their cows was pift into a 
churn, and the motion of the wagon produced their butter as they 
went along.* The journey from Orange county consumed twenty- 
six days. The sons who came with Benj. Barney, were : — Thomas, 
John, Nicholas, Joseph and Henry. Thomas was the head of a 
family when they came to the Genesee country ; a surviving son 
of his, is Gen. V. G. Barney of Newark Wayne county ; a surviv- 
ing daughter is the wife of Elisha Higby, of Hopewell, Ontario 
county; — and in this connection it may be observed, that Mr. 
Higby erected the first carding machine in the Genesee country, 
in 1804, in what is now the town of Hopewell, to which he soon 
added a cloth dressing establishment. 

James Sibley, the early and widely known silver smith, watch 
repairer, and jeweler, of Canandaigua, still suivives, retired from 
business, a resident of Rochester. His son, Oscar Sibley, pursuing 
the business of his father, is the proprietor of a large establishmen° 
in Bufialo.^ By the aid of a singularly retentive memory — especi- 
ally in reference to names and localities — he has furnished the 
author with the following names of all the heads of families in Can- 
andaigua, village, in 1803 : — 

Setli Tlionipson, 
Almci- liunndl, 
Elijali 5J()r)»!y, 
H(;iirv Cliaimi. 
Samuel Latta, 
Dudley Saltonstall, 
Loaiul'cr ]5utlor, 
Luther W. Eeujamin, 
John Hall, 
John House, 
Maitin Dudley, 
V'cn. Wells, 
Jasper Tarisli, 
Mr. Crane, 
Daniel Danes, 
Mr. Sampson, 
Timothy Younglove, 
Samuel Abbey, 
John Shulur, 
John I!rork('ll)ank, 
Jeremiah Atwatcr, 
General Taylor, 

Widow Whiting, 
I'hineas Bates, 
Augustus I'orter, 
Zaoliariah Seymour, 
Natlianiel Sanborn, 
Timothy Hurt, 
TlioniiUH Morris, 
ThomjLs ISeals, 
M(jses AtAvater, 
.Thaddeiis Chapin, 
Israel Cha[)in, 
Gould it Post, 
James Dewey, 
Ezekiel Taylor, 
Wm. Anfisi, 
John Clark, 
James Srnedley, 
Jacob Haskell, 
Rev. Timothy Field, 
Joshua Eaton, 
Samuel Brock, 
Mosea Cleveland, 

Sylvester Tiffany, 
Wm. A. VViUiams, 
James llolden, 
Natli. W. Howell, 
Sanniel Dungan, 
Robert Spencer, 
Hannah Whalley, 
Ebenezer F. Xortou, 
John Furj^uson, 
Abner ]5in-low, 
Norton it Richards, 
Nathaniel Corhani. 
William Shepherd, 
Freeman Atwater, 
William Ciiaiimau, 
Col. Hyde, 
Virtue lironsoii, 
James B. Mower, 
Oliver I'helps, 
Feter H. Colt. 
Luther '"'ole, 
Amos Beach. 

fi.r ?"^^'"'^. '^IV^'' ^""'"? '""'« ^^'^^ i'« '"'Itch with an old lady who was fleeinn- from 
the frontier in the war of 1812. An alarm found her with her dough mixed for b'lkinl 




heir advent 
nng the de- 
put into a 
ter as they 
ed tvventy- 
— Thonnas, 
; head of a 
rviving son 
; a surviv- 
ill, Ontario 
!, that Mr. 
!e country, 
2h he soon 

lith, watch 
itired from 
f, pursuing 
■ — especi- 
nished the 
es in Can- 






\ Xortou, 









I IS, 


fleejlii;: fiotn 
1 for bakiii"'. 

The first permanent church organization in Canandaigua. of 
which the author finds any record, was that of St. lALithew's 
church of the town of Canandaigua, February 4th, 1799. "A 
meeting was Jield at the house of Nathaniel Sanborn'; Ezra Piatt 
was called to the chair to regulate said meeting." The followin-r 
officers were chosen : — Ezra Piatt, Joseph Colt, Wardens ; Johii 
Clark, Augustus Porter, John Hecox, Nathaniel Sanborn, Benjamin 
Wells, James Fields, Moses Atwater, Aaron Flint, Vestrymen. 

The Rev. Philander Chase, the present Bishop of the United 
States, then in Deacon's orders, presided at this organization ; re- 
mained and ofliciated as clergyman for several months. 

About the same period, " the first Congregational church of die 
town of Cannandaigua," was organized. "Ail persons who had 
statedly worshi[.ped in said congregation," met "at the school 
house," and as Trustees : —Othniel Taylor, ThaddeusChapin, 
Dudley Saltonstall, Seth Ilolcomb, Abner Barlow, Phineas Bates. 
The first settled minister of this church, was the Rev- Mr. Field. 

The first record of election returns that the author has been 
enabled to obtain, is that of the election of Senators and Assem- 
blymen in 1799. Tliis was before Ontario was dismembered, or 
rather before Steuben had a separate organization, and the returns 
of course embrace the whole region west of Seneca Lake. Vin- 
cent ]\Iatthews, Joseph White, Moss Kent, were the candidates for 
Senators. The candidates lor Assembly were, Charles Williamson 
and Nathaniel Norton, opposed by Lemuel Chipman and Dudley 
Saltonstall. Williamson and Saltonstall were elected. The entire 

vote is given : — 

s Easton 

Auj,'iista - 









Sho rolled it up in a Wd, and sitting upon it, kept it warm, puUin- it out aud bakiuR 
as she stopjied along tlie road. i a uv* uaivmjj 

N-OTE.-TIiero was a little feeling of rivalry in tlu. organization of the,so Pioneer 
W^^^^^^^ 'i'l^^' 'iH.n yoimg de ,y 

mlm boardwl with Mrs. Sanborn, and to amuse one of her cLiMren, Vhittled < .n -i 
slnngle m the shape ot a hddle, and stringmg it with nilk tluead, put it in t^he S 
dow ; an ^ohan J.arp. The trifling affair soon got noised about .Ind son en b "s 

of Sic SfI mSngTlldXr' """^'-^^'^ '' ^° ^^ ^^^ '^^"^ ^^^ '^' "^ ^ ^^ 





|50 ™l'^^ 

If 1^ 

•" 140 




1.25 1.4 


-^ 6" — 






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f vsSvv 













WEBSTER, N.Y. 1458C 

(716) 872-4503 












- 110 





Painted Post 











Bath - 




V >tal 

- - - 

- 1744 

In 1800, Lemuel Chipman and Nathaniel Norton were elected; 
number of votes, 3,582. Thomas Morris was elected to Congress, 
receiving almost the entire vote of the Genesee country. Canan- 
(iaigua, Palmyra, Bristol, Sparta, Hartford. Easton, Charleston, 
Northfield, Augusta, their entire vote : and in several other towns 
there were but one, two and three, against him. 1801 — Peter B. 
Porter and Daniel Chapin were elected to the Assembly. 1802 — 
Steuben elected separately, Pollydore B. Wisner, Augustus Porter 
and Thaddeus Chapin, were elected members of Assembly from 
Ontario. 1803 — Batavia, which was then all of the Holland 
Purchase, gave less than 180 votes. In that year, Amos Hall, 
Nathaniel W. Howell, Pollydore B. Wisner, were elected to the 
Assembly. 1804 — The members of Assembly were, Amos Hall, 
Daniel W. Lewis and Alexander Rhea. 

Jonathan Philips, an early shoemaker of Canandaigua, still sur- 
vives, hammering and drawing out his waxed ends upon a seat he 
has occupied for 51 years ; being now 75 years of age. The old 
gentleman observes, that in that now healthy locality, he has known 
it to be so sickly, that more than half the entire population would 
be afflicted with fevers. 

Southworth Cole, an elder brother of Luther Cole, came into the 
country in 1797. He located on the east side of the Lake, in a 
then wilderness, at what was known in early days as '• Corn Creek." 
There was an old Indian clearing of about 20 acres. Mr. Cole 
was for several years the only settler between the foot of the Lake 
and Naples. The location was famed as the favorite ground of the 
rattle snake : some members of this Pioneer family have killed as 
many as 100 in the course of a day at their den. Deer were so 
plenty, that a hunter of the family hrs killed 00 in a season. The 
sons of the Pioneer were Abner Cole, an early lawyer of Palmyra ; 
Dorastus Cole, of Palmyra ; Joseph Cole, of Michigan ; G. W. 



Cole of Saratoga Springs; and Benjamin B. Cole, of Ocrden. 
Mrs. Philetus Swift of Phelps, and Mrs. Kingsley Miller of Palmy, 
ra, were h.s daughters. Joseph Colt, the early merchant of Geneva 
and Palmyra, married a sister of Southworth and Luther Cole 


The settlement of East Bloomfield, commenced simultaneously 
with thatof Canandaigua. The east township was purchased by 
Capt. Wm. Bacon, Gen. John Fellows, Elisha Lee, Deacon John 
Adams, Dr. Joshua Porter (the father of Peter B. and Au-ustus) 
Deacon Adams became the pioneer in settlement ; — and tlie pa- 
tnarch it might well be added, for he introduced a large household 
into the wilderness. His family consisted of himself and wife his 
sons John, Jonathan, William, Abner and Joseph ; his sons in laws, 

Ephraim Rew. Lorin Hull, and Wilcox, and their wives, and 

Elijah Rose, a brother in law and his family, and three unmarried 
daughters. Joined with all these in the primitive advent, were • — 
Moses Gunn, Lot Rew, John Barnes, Roger Sprague. Asa Hickox 
Benjamin Goss, John Keyes, Nathaniel Norton. Early after the 
opening of navigation, in 1789, the emigrants departed from Sche- 
nectady, some of the men with the household furniture and stores, by 
water, but most of the party upon pack horses, following principally 
tlie Indian trails. In May, they were joined by Augustus Porter, 
Ihaddeus Keyes, Joel Steele, Eber Norton and Oran^re Woodruff. 
Judge Porter, then but twenty years of age, had been°employed to 
make farm surveys of the township. When he arrived h^. found 
the Adams family, and those who had come in with them, the occu- 
pants of a log house, 30 by 40 feet, the first dwelling erected west 
of Canandaigua after white settlement commenced. To accomo- 
date so large a family with lodgings, there were berths upon wooden 
pins along the walls of the house, one above another, steam, or 
packet boat fashion. It was the young surveyor's first introduction 
to backwoods life. He added to the crowded household himself and 
his assistants, and soon shouldered his "Jacob staft;" and commen- 
ced his work. The emigrants had brought on a good stock of pro- 
visions and some cows ; wild game soon began to be added, which 
made them very comfortable livers. The Judge, in his later years, 




would speak with much animation, of the primitive log house, its 
enormous fire place; and especially of the hread "baked in ashes" 
which Mrs. Rose used to bring upon the table, and which he said 
was excellent. 

William Bacon, a principal proprietor in Bloomfield, was a res- 
ident of Sheffield, JMass.; he never emigrated. He bore a captain's 
commsssion in the Revolution, and was a contractor for the army. 
After the Revolution he drove cattle through upon the old Indian 
trail to Fort Niagara. Deacon Adams, Nathaniel Eggleston, and 
several others of the early settlers in Bloomfield, first saw the Gen- 
esee Country, in connection with this cattle trade to Niagara. Col. 
Asher Saxton a prominent pioneer, i:i Bloomfield, Cambria, and 
Lockport Niagara co., and lastly upon the river Raisin, near 
Monroe, was a son in law of capt. Bacon and his local representa- 
tive. He died at his residence in Michigan in 1847 at an advanced 
age. He married for a third wife a sister of Gen. Micah Brooks. 
When he left Bloomfield to go into a new region in Niagara county, 
he remarked to an old friend that he was going " where they live in 
log cabins." " I want" said he " to see more of Pioneer life." The 
roof of a log cabin has seldom sheltered a worthier man. 

The author is unable to name the j-ear in which all of the emi- 
grants settled in Bloomfield after the primitive advent of the Adam'g 
household, and those who came in the same year. Those who will 
be named were of the earliest class of Pioneers. 

Dr. Daniel Chapin was the early physician. He was the next 
representative of Ontario county in the Legislature after Gen. 
Israel Chapin. He removed to BufFalo in 1805 and died there in 

Amos Bronson was from Berkshire, a persevering and enterprisino- 
man, and became the owner of a large farm. He died in 1835. 
His wife still survives, at the advanced age of over 90 years. Mrs. 
Bronson, and Benjamin Goss, are the only two surviving residents 

Note. — Tliero iirono suniving dcscotidants in tho first degree of tlio early Pioneer 
Deacon John Adams. In tlie second, tliiid and i'omth de<;reo, few families are nioro 
ininierous. The three unnianiod daughters mentioned above, became tlu! wives of 

John Kt^es, Benjamin, and Silas K«!,deston. Among the descendants are the 

lannlywho gave the name to "Adams Hasin," in Ogden ; Oen. Wm. H. Adams of 
Lyons AVni. Adams of Rochester, and Mrs. Barrett of Lockport ; and the autlior re- 
grets tliat he has not the memorandums to enable him to remember more of a mime 
aud lumdy so promiueiiUy identiliod witliPiouccr aettlemeut. 



of all the adult pioneers of East Bloomfield. The sons are among 
the wealthy and public spirited men of the town. 

Benjamin Goss, who is named above, was in the country as early 
as 1791. He married a daughter of Dea:on George Codding, of 
Bristol. Theirs was the first wedding on Phelps and Gorham's Pur- 
chase. He is now 90 years of age ; a Revolutionary pensioner. 
He was in the battl'^ at Johnstown, at Sharon Springs, and was in 
the unsuccessful expedition of Col. Marinus Willett to Oswego in the 
winter of 1781.* 

Nathaniel Norton was from Goshen, Conn. He was the foun- 
der of the mills that took his name, on the Ganargwa creek, in 
Bloomfield. He was an early sheriff of Ontario, and its represen- 
tative in the Legislature ; and an early merchant in Bloomfield and 
Canandaigua. He died in 1809 or '10. The late Heman Norton 
was his son ; a daughter became the wife of Judge Baldwin of the 

Sup. Court of the United States ; another of Beach, of the 

firm of Norton & Beach. Aaron Norton, the brother of Nathaniel, 
settled in Bloomfield about the same time; died soon after 1^15, 
Hon. Ebenezer F. Norton of Buffalo, and Reuben Norton of BLom- 

field, are his sons. A daughter became the wife of Kibbe, 

the early Bank cashier at Canandaigua and Bufialo ; another, the 
wife of Peter Bowen. Eber Norton, another brother of Nathaniel, 
died in 1810; Judge Norton of Allegany is a son of his. 

Roger, Azel, and Thomas Sprague, with their father and mother, 
and three sisters, were early pioneers. Roger succeeded Nathaniel 
Norton as Sheriff of Ontario, was a member of the Legislature, and 
supervisor. He died in Michigan, in 1848. Asahel and Thomas, 
both died soon after 1810. The only survivor of the family is a 
sister who became the wife of Dr. Ralph Wilcox. 

Tlic old gentleman gives a relation of suffering and privation in that expedition, 
winch exlahits some of the harshest features of tlie war of the Revohition. The con- 
tein]ilatc(l attack npon Oswego, was mulertakeu in mitl winter, and the army eiicoun- 
tere( deep snow. Many of tlio men had tlieir feet frozen, and tlie relator among the 
number, llie expedition was undertaken in sleighs, and upon snow shoes, the men 
going aliead unon the snow shoes, and partly beathig ihe track. Oneida Li>ko wna 
crossed upon tlio ice. Arriving at Fort Brewerton, a largo number of the pressed mil- 
itia, a])iialled Ijy the sutl'ering and diinger they were to encounter, deserted and return- 
ed to the valley of the Moliawk ; the remainder, an unequal force for the work that 
was belorethem, struck off into the dark forest in the direction of Oswego, were badly 
jnloted, missed their course, and were tliree days wanderers amid the ttuni sn,)ws of 
the wildernesf:. Coming within four mik's of a strong fortress, with provisions exhaus- 
ted, amnuimtion much damaged, and men already worn out in the march, a council de- 
culed against the attack, and the expedition retreated to Fort Plain. 

I! • 

H ^ 


Moses Gunn was from Berkshire. He died in 1820 ; Linus Gunn 
of Bloomfield was a son of his; another son wa. an early tavern 
keeper on north road to Canandaigua 

As early as 1790 Daniel Gates located in the town of Bloomfield 
on the Iloneoye creek, at what is now known as North Bloomfield' 
and erected the first saw mill upon that stream. Procuring some 
apple sprouts from the old Indian orchard at Geneva he had one of 
the earliest bearing orchards in the Genesee country. His youngest 
.on Alfred Gates, now resides upon the old homestead. 

Dr. John Barnes was an early physician, remained a few years, 
and emigrated to Canada. 

Elijah Hamlin, Philo Hamlin. Cyprian Collins, Gideon King, Ben- 
jamin Chapman, Joel and Christopher Parks. Ephraim and Lot Rue, 
Alexander Emmons, Ashbel Beach, Nathan Waldron, Enos Hawley 
Timothy Buel, were Pioneers in Bloomfield, but in reference to thern 
the author as m many other instances, has to regret the absence of 

names Elijah Hamlin, who was alive a short time since, in Mich- 
gan. If ahve now, is the only survivor of them. He was a contrac- 
tor on the Erie Canal, at Lockport, in 1823. Joel Parks, a son of 
one of those named, married a daughter of Dea. Gooding of Bristol 
He was a pioneer at Lockport. Niagara county, a Jus:ice of the 
peace and merchant; and is nowa residen.of Lockport Illinois. 

iZZ'/rV'"""^ ^''"^ ^'''^''^'''' '' ^^oorni^-^d, in March. 

1/94. vvith his wife and seven children. He was then but 27 years 
old. Remaining in Bloomfield until 1813. he removed with his 
lamily to the town of Henrietta, when settlement had but first com- 
menced and where he had been preceded two or three years by 
some of his sons. He died in the town of Gates, in 1820, aged 62 
years At the time of his death he had Hving, 12 children, 67 
grand-children, and 7 great-grand children; nine of the sons and 



daughters are now living. The mother died in Randolph, Cattara- 
gus county, in 1840, aged 78 years; the eldest son at Council Bluff, 
on his way to Oregon, in 1840. The history of this family furnishes 
a remarkable instance of the spirit of enterprise and adventure in- 
herited by the descendants of the early pioneers of the Genesee 
country. Residing in one town, in 1813, in 1842 the sons and 
daughters were residents of five different States,. Nine of them 
are now living : James Sperry, in Henrietta, a well known surveyor, 
and a local agent of the Wadsvvorth estate ; Moses Sperry, the 
present Surrogate of Monroe ; Calvin Sperry, in Gates, Monroe 
county; Charles Sperry in Quincy, Illinois; George Sperry in 
Trumbull county Ohio. A sister resides in Cattaragus county ; 
another in Akron, Ohio ; another in Missouri ; another in Gates, 
Monroe county. 

Mr James Sperry having kindly furnished the author with some 
interesting pioneer reminiscences, they are inserted in the form 
adoDted in other instances. 


Among the trials of tlio first settlers, there wore none more irntatinij tlian 
the destniction of slieep and swine by th^- wohes ami bears. Often "wliole 
flocks of sheep would be shuiglitered in tlie niglit by the wol\-es. Tliis ha])- 
pened so frerincntly that those wlio determined to preserve their sheep, made 
l)ens or yards, so high and tight that a wolf could not get over or tlu'ough 
them. If left out by accident or carelessnes.s, they weio almost sure to be at- 
tacked. The state, coanty and town, offered bounties, in the ao-oTOfjate, 
amounting to 820 for each wolf scalp. Asnhel Sprague caught ten irBIoom- 
fiekl, which had the effect to pretty nnich stop their ravages in that quarter. 

Bears preyed iqion the hog's, that iVom necessity the new settlei's were 
clMged to let run in the woods for shack. About two years after we 
came to Bloomfickl, when our iicarciit neigld)or was a mile from my father's 
house, one dark evening in October, when we were all sitting around the 
table pearing pumpkins to dry, (and to make apple sauce,) we were suddenly 
started by a loud squeal from tlie motiier of the gruntei-s, who with her pro- 
geny, were resting in a hollow log in the woods. Mv father having no ara- 
nuuution for his old French gun, seize 1 an axe, and went to the rescue, un- 
hindered by the remonstrances of my mother. The bear tied at his appi'oach, 
biit had so injured the hog tliat my father killed her and dragged in the carcass. 

It was not uncommon for boys to see bears when at\er the cows, but I 
tl i:ik no one of tlie early settlers' received any injury from them, unless they 
had first been wounded. One of the Coddings, in BloomlieU, came pr<.'tty 



give ]u.n a I J. UMn^^^!^ '""? ^^P', ''f' ^"'-^ I^'''^^'^ ^'■^^"^^''^^1. ^o 

fled boarinj <S' the a Sel v^^^^ to penetrate the sk„]l. The bear 

Lnhu] <<,. ' " ^^''■'^ '"^■'*^ '^•y the woiiiK ed sk n and flesli,,ik,..^ ;'„, M^ *" T5 !"s heels, ana broke his back with a 

el Jest sisler tt'l e , ll ^ r '■""' "'"f-'l"" '»«• My mother and 

e^ongh ro.;;ar;;';'hr^,.'ro!;i7'is„ !::TZ^- ''''-'■ -' 

ToL I Su Z ' ""I'''«^"*^'^^'"^^ ^^•'-^••« SO extended that the inhabitants 
SvSe ° 'JFnings and soon they began to bo covered with oak nd 

now per acre, . tt ^^SS^i.^ ^S^Ji.^^^S. ^ ^^^ ^^^^ «^ ^^ 
be^ hSXrr'""'?!;'^^!^"^^^"^^^^ ^^^'-^ """^-o"s and hard to 

inn- nil +)„• * Vi ^^ ""<-!, and l)arefoot in the summer; yet, notwith'^t-md 

March nS ^f, •^^^'^'^^^ f«Vl'^"!- ^''ilcl>'en. . When our family arrived in 
tt re liL'o th Tdn' ""^''i V '^'^ ""'f' '''' ^«™^'- «f the town, ne r 
te ol It of our fHmtv ".' ''"^ .? 'T\ ^'^'^ "^>' ^=^"''^ ^^l'^^^- ^^'^'"r of 
Norton nn-lTTr^^,'-'"*'.''''^ ^^'"^ •-°^"^'^' '"^^ «'»n as we arrived. Ilemin 
J^ o?^si;;^^"'a^r "went through college," wer/mr 

buiitl';roneiaSf":^::f:s.':::rcf^ ''% ^^'^?^ ^^^"^^ ^^='« 

waskrMitbvIovi.-i P f \V A ^ ^'^^''*^ ^^"^''^' ^^'^'^™ '■^ «'J'ool 
.to-uataMa. Uunng the summer o f '95 and '6, Betsey Sprague 

west of Uatavin. wL f ' o^ i f ' ^ '," ^""^'-'''^''i Crock, tlneo miles 

rlin.e. He canled the first tnuul o7. ,,, > ^^' '•' '"''' " '" "I"'" ^'"^ ^■^""•''"'l J*">- 
rloth, a,ul nia.le tlic fir "t rL^i^ f t n^r C ? '"'"■''"•^'T ■• ^IrosseJ the fi„.t piece of 
78th year of his age ^ '" ''"*' "* Caladuiua. He still survives, iu the 




kept tins school. TheiR was then but two schools in the town. Miss 
Spmgiie kopt the siiine school in the winter of '90 and '7. My eldest 
brother and myself attended this school in the winter, walking two and a half 
miles through the snow across the openings ; not with "old shoes and clout- 
ed "_ on our feet, but with rags tied on theln to go and come in, taking them 
oft" in school hours. The young men ami boys, the young wonu-n and girls, 
for three miles around, attended this school. John Fairchild, west of tho 
Centre, sent his children. 

In tint fall of '97, a young man with a pack on his back, came in.', the 
neighborhood of Ounn, Goas, King, Lamberton, and the Bronsons, two miles 
ciust of the south west school, and one mile north of may father's, and intro- 
duced himself as a school t<>acher from tho land of steady habits ; proposing 
that they form a new district, and he would keep their school. The propose 
tion was accepted, and all turned out late in the season, the young man volun- 
teei'ing liis assistance, and built another log school house in winch he kept a 
school in the winter of '97 and '8, and the ensuing winter. The school was 
as full both winters as the house could hold. Two young men, John Lam- 
beilon and Jesse Tainter, studietl surveying both winters, and in 1800, 
Lamberton commenced surveying for the' Holland Company, doing a laro-er 
amount of sur\eying upon their Purcluise than any other man. °Ho now 
lives near Pine Hill, a few miles north of Batavia. The first wmter, ray 
father sent seven to this scliool, and the second winter eight. In this school, 
most of us learned for the first time that the earth Avas round, and turned 
round upon its axis once in 24 hours, and revolves around the sun once a 
year. .1 shall never forget the teacher's manner of illnsti'ating these tacts : — 
For the ANTrnt of a globe, he took an old hat, the crown having "gone up to 
seed," doubled in the old limber trim, marked with chalk a line round tho 
mitldle lor the e([uator, and another representing the eliptic, and held it up 
to the scholars, with the " seed end " towards them, and turning it, com- 
menced the two revolutions. The simultaneous shout which went up from 
small to great, was a " caution'" to all young school masters how they in- 
troduce " new things" to yoimg Pioneers. Although the school mjister was 
afayoriU;_with parents and pujjils, the "most orthodox" thought he was 
talking of some thing of which he knew nothing, and was teaching for sound 
doctrine A\hat Avas contrary to tho common sense of all ; for every body 
knew that tho earth was flat and immovably fixed, and that the sun rose and 
set every day. That teacher finally settled in Bloomfield, was afterwards 
manv years a Justice of tlie Peace; for one term, member of the legislature; 
anil for one term, a member of Congress; now known as Gen. Micah Bi'ooks, 
of Brook's Grove, Livingston county. 

■ TIk', fiist meeting house in the Genesee country, was erected in Bloomfield, 
in IRQ 1. A church and society had been formed some years before; Seth 
■\Villiston and Jedcdiali Bushndl, ujissionaries from the east, hibored occa 
sionaliy and sometimes continually in Blcjmfield, from 1797 to 1800. An 
extensive revival in that ami adjoining towns continued under their labors for 
several years, and in 1801, they raised a large meeting house. Robert 
Powers was the builder. Meetings were held in it summer and winter, when 
it was in anunlinished condition, and without warming it, until 1807 and '8, 
when it wa.': finished ; Andrew Colton being the ai'cliilect. 

Ancient occupancy wsis distinctly traced "at the period of early settlement 

I s 




in Bboinfie],!. On tlie farm of Nathan Wuldron, and on othei-s contio-uous, 
in tlionortliefist comer of the town, near whore the Adams, Norton! and 
Kues hi-st settled, many gim barrels, locks and stock barrels, of French con- 
struct.oti, and tomahawks, were plowed up and used for makini; w mendin-r 
agricultural implements. I have seen a,' many as 1 5 or 20 barreS at a time, al 
Wadrons blacksmith shop, while ho and David Reese, his journeyman, were 
vyorkino- them uji. I once saw Reese pointiniy out in the roof of the shop, 
the etlect ol a ball fired from an old barrel while heatini; it in the forge; his 
hearers wonderino; how the powder retained its strength for so long a period, 
the barrel having lain under ground. 

There were many old Indian burying grounds in Bloomfield, and many of 
the graves were opened in search of curiosities. In some of them, hatchets 
were loiind, out generally nothing but bones. In ploughing the ground, 
bones, skulls, and sometimes hatchets, were found.' The 'stones used by the 
Indians tor skinnmg tlieir game and peeling bark, were found in various 
localities, iheso stones were very hard, worked off smooth, and brou<^ht 
down to an edge at one end, and generally from four to six inches long. 
I'estle stones used for pounding their corn were frequently found. They 
were from one to one a half feet in length, round and smooth, with a round 
point at both ends, something like a rolling pin ; and they were frequently 
used by the settlers for that puri)ose. ^ 

The venerable Deacon Stephen Dudley, who settled in Bloomfield 
as early as 1799, still survives. In the summer of i848 he informed 
the author that there were then less than twenty persons living in 
Bloomfield, who were adults when he came there. He also inform- 
ed the author, that Gen. Fellows built the first framed barn west of 
Canandaigua; and as an instance of the value of lands in an early 
day, he related an anecdote : — Gen. Fellows had no building spot 
on the road, on his large tract, but an acre of land on a lot adjoin- 
ing was desirable for that purpose. Proposing to buy it, he asked 
the owner his price, who replied :— " I declare, General, if you 
take an acre right out of my farm, I think you should give me as 
much as fifty cents for it." 

In 1798 a second religious society was organized in Bloomfield, 
called the "North Congregational Society." The first trustees 
were : — Jared Boughton, Joseph Brace, and Thomas Hawley. 


Micah Brooks, was a son of David Brooks, A. M., of Cheshire, 
Conn. The father was a graduate of Yale College. He belonged 



( contiguous, 
J^ortous anil 
French con- 
; or mending 
. at a tiiiio, at 
oynian, were 
of the shop, 
lO forge ; his 
ag a period, 

nd many of 
3m, hatchets 
the ground, 
used by the 
1 in various 
ind brouglit 
inches long, 
und. They 
r'ith a round 
e frequently 

e informed 
s living in 
so inform- 
'n west of 
n an early 
Iding spot 
lot adjoin- 
lie asked 
al, if you 
ve me as 

t trustees 


to the first quota of men furnished by the town of Cheshire ; en- 
tering the service first as a private soldier, but soon becoming the 
quarter master of his regiment. He was a member of the legisla- 
ture of Connecticut, at the period of the surrender of Burgoyne, 
and a delegate to the State Convention that adopted the U. S. con- 
stitution at Hartford. After his first military service, he alternated 
in discharging the duties of a minister and then of a soldier — going 
out in cases of exigency with his shouldered musket ; especially at 
the burning of Danbury and the attack upon New Haven. After 
the Revolution, he retired to his farm in Cheshire, where he died in 

Micah Brooks, in 179G, having just arrived at the age of twenty- 
one years, set out from his father's house to visit the new region, the 
fame of which was then spreading throughout New England. Af- 
ter a pretty thorough exploration of western New York, he returned 
to Whitestown, and visited the country again in the fall of 1797, stop- 
ping at Bloomfield and engaging as a school teacher ; helping to build 
his own log school house. [D= See reminiscences of Mr, James 
Spe:ry. Returning to Cheshire, he spent a part of a summer in 
studying surveying with Professor Meigs, with the design of enter- 
ing into the service of the Holland Company. In the fall of '98, 
he returned, and passing Bloomfield, extended his travels to the Falls 
of Niagara on foot, pursuing the old Niagara trail ; meeting with 
none of his race, except travellers, and Poudry, at Tonawanda, with 
whom and his Squaw wife, he remained over night. After visiting 
the Falls — seeing for himself the wonder of which he had read so 
imperfect descriptions in New England school books, he went up 
the Canada side to Fort Erie, crossing the river at Black Rock. 
The author gives a graphic account of his morning' s walk from 
Black Rock to where Buffalo now is, in his own language, as he is 
quite confident he could not improve it : — " It was a bright, clear 
morning in November. In my lonely walk along the bank of the 
Lake, I looked out upon its vast expanse of water, that unstin-ed 
by the wind, waj as transparent as a sea of glnss. There was no 
marks of civilization upon its shores, no American sail to float 
upon its surfivce. Standing to contemplate the scene, — here, I re- 
flected, the goodness of a Supreme Being has prepared a new crea- 
tion, ready to be occupied by the people of his choice. At what 
period will the shores of this beautiful Lake be adorned with dwel- 



lings and all the appointments of civilized life, as now seen upon the 

shores of the Atlantic ? I began to tax my mathematical powers to 

see wh6n the east would become so overstocked with population, 

as to be enabled to furnish a surplus to fill up the unoccupied space 

between me and my New England friends. It was a hard question 

to solve ; and I concluded if my New England friends could see 

me, a solitary wanderer, upon the shores of a far off western Lake, 

indulging in such wild speculations, they would advise me to return 

and leave such questions to future generations. Dut I have r/ten 

thought that I had then, a presentiment of a ;)rtr< of what half a 

century has accomplished." Walking on to the rude log tavern of 

Palmer, which was one of the then, but two or three habitations, on 

all the present site of Buffalo, he added to his stock of bread and 

cheese, and struck off again into the wilderness, on the Indian trail, 

— slept one night in the surveyor's ca.-r^p of .Tames Smedley, and 

after getting lost in the dense dark woods where Batavia now is, 

reacheil the transit line, where Mr. Ellicott's hands were engaged in 

erecting their primitive log store house. 

Renewing his school teoching in Bloomfield, in '99, he purchased 
the flirm where he resided for many years. It was at a period of 
land speculation, and inflation of prices, and he paid the high price 
of 80 per acre. Boarding at Deacon Bronson's — working°for him 
two days in the week for his board, and for others during liaying 
and harvesting, he commenced a small improvement. 

Returning to Connecticut, he kept aschooi for the winter, and in 
the spring came out with some building materials ; building a small 
framed house in the course of the season. In 1801 he brought out 
two sisters as house keepers, one of whom as has been stated, be- 
came the wife of Col. Asher Saxton, and the other Curtiss, a 

settler in Gorham. In 1802 he married the daughter of Deacon 
Abel Hall of Lyme, Conn., a sister of Mrs. Clark Peck of Bloom- 

He became a prominent, public spirited, and useful Pioneer. 
Receiving in one of the earliest years of his residence in the new 
country, a military comminion, he passed through the different gra- 
dations to that of Major General. Appointed to the office of justice 
of the peace in i806, he was an assistant justice of the county 
courts in 1808, and was the same year elected to the Legislature 
from Ontario county. In 1800, he was an associate commissioner 



n upon the 
:1 powers to 
ipied space 
nl question 
3 could see 
tern Lake, 
e to return 
have f/ten 
hat half a 
tavern of 
tations, on 
bread and 
idian trail, 
ledley, and 
rm now is, 
engaged in 

period of 
high price 
ng for him 
ig liaying 

ter, and in 
ng a small 
•ought out 
stated, be- 
Curtiss, a 
if Deacon 
3f Bloom- 
. the new 
brent gra- 
of justice 
e county 


with Hugh McNair and Mathevv Warner, to lay out a road from 
Caiiandaigua to Olean ; and another from Ilornellsville to the mouth 
of the Genesee River. In the war of 1812, he was out on the 
frontier in two campaigns, serving with the rank of Colonel. In 
1811 was elected to Congress. He was a member of the State 
Convention in 1822, and a Presidential Elector in 1821. He was 
for twenty years a Judge of the Ontario county courts. 

In 1823, he purchased in connection with Jellis Clute and John 
B. Gibson, of Mary Jemison, commonly called the White Woman, 
the Gardeau tract on the Genesee River. Selecting a fine portion 
of it for a large farm and residence, on the road from Mount Mor- 
ris to Nunda, he removed to it soon after the purchase. The small 
village and i)lace of his residence is called " Brook's Grove. " 

Gen. Brooks is now 75 years of age, retaining his mental facul- 
ties unimpaired ; as an evidence that his physical constitution holds 
out well, after a long life of toil and enterprise, it may be remarked 
that in the most inclement month of the last winter, he made a jour- 
ney to New England and the city of New York. His present wife 
was a sister of the first wife of Frederick Smith, Esq. of. Palmyra, 
and of the second wife of Gen. Mills, of Mount Morris. His sons 
are Lorenzo H. Brooks, of Canadea, and Micah W. Brooks, residing 
at the homestead. A daughter is the wife of Henry Rielly Esq., 
formerly the editor of the Rochester Daily Advertiser, and P. M. 
of Rochester ; now a resident of New York, widely known as the 
enterprising proprietor of thousands of miles of Telcgrajjh lines in 
diflerent States of the Union ; another, is the wife of Mr. George 
Ellwanger, one of the enterprising proprietors of Mount Hope Gar- 
den and Nursery ; another the wife of Theodore F. Hall, formerly 
of Rochester, now of Brook's Grove. He has two unmarried 
daughters, one of whom is a well educated mute, and is now a 
teacher in the deaf and dumb institution at Hartford, Conn. 

The history of Mica'' Brooks furnishes a remarkable instance of 
a man well educated, and yet unschooled. The successful teacher, 
the competent Justice and Judge — as a member of our State and 
National counciis, the drafter of bills and competent debater — the 
author of able essays upon internal improvements, and other sub- 
jects — even now in his old age, a vigorous writer, and a frequent 
contributor to the public ^oress : — never enjoyed, in all, a twelve 
months of school tuition I The small library of his father, a good 



native intellect, intercourse with the world, a laudable ambition and 
self reliance, supplied the rest. 

The original purchasers of that part of the old town of Bloom- 
held, which IS now the town of West Bloomfield, (or 10,5G0 acres of 
It) were Robert Taft, Amos Hall, Nathan Marvin and Ebenezer 
turtis. All of these, it is presumed, became settlers in 1789 '90 • 
as was also Jasper P. Sears, Peregrine Gardner, Samuel Miller,' 
John Algur, Sylvanus Thayer. 

Amos Hall was from Guilford, Conn. He was connected with 
the earliest military organizations, as a commissioned officer and 
rose to the rank of Major General, succeeding William Wadsvvorth 
At one period during the war of 18J2, he wos the commander-in' 
chief upon the Niagara frontier. He also held several civil offices ; 
and in ail early years was a prominent and useful citizen. He died 
in 1 827, aged G6 years. The surviving sons are : — David S Hall 
merchant, Geneva ; Thomas H Jl, superintendani of Rochester and 
Syracuse R. Road; Morris Hall, Cass county Michigan : Heman 
Hall, a resident of Pennsylvania. An only daughter became the 
wife of Josiah Wendle, of Bloomfield. 

Gen. Hall was the deputy ]\Iarshall, and took the U. S. censu<- in 
Ontario county, in 1790, in July and August, it is presumed. His 
roll has Deen preserved by the family, and will be found in the Ap- 
pendix, (No. 9.) ^ 


In April, 1787, three young men, Gideon Pitts, James Goodwin 
and Asa Simmons left their native place, (Dighton, Mass.,) to seek a 
nevv home m the wilderness. They came up the Su.squehannah 
and located at Newtown, now Elmira. Here, uniting with other 
adventurers they erected the first white man's habitation upon the 
site of the present villnge ; and during the summer and fall planted 
and raised Indian corn. Returning to Dighton, their favorable rep- 
resentations of the country induced the organization of the " Di^^hton 

1 helps and Gorham had perfected their title. To be in season, Cal- 
vin Jacobs was deputed to attend the treaty with Gideon Pitts, and 
select the t'-Qn* a. .^^., __ .u. . i- i^.^, .um 

ie tr.<jct, 

soon as tac townships were surveyed, the 


bit ion and 

yf Bloom- 

acres of 
1789, '90; 
b1 Miller, 

:ted with 
Seer, and 
^il offices ; 
He died 
i S.Hall, 
ester and 
came the 

3ensus in 
ed. His 

1 the Ap. 

o seek a 
th other 
ipon the 
ble rep- 
soon as 
in, Cal- 
tts, and 
le com- 



pany purchased 46,080 acres of the land embraced in Townships 9 
in the 3ci, 4th, and 5th Ranges : being most of what was after- 
wards embraced in the towns of Richmond, Bristol, and the fraction 
of number nine, on the west side of Canandaigua lake. The title 
was taken for the company, in the name of Calvin Jacobs and 
John Smith. 

In 1789, Capt. Peter Pitts, his son William, Dea. George Codding, 
and his son George, Calvin Jacobs, and John Smith, came via the 
Susquehannah route to the new purchase, and surveyed what is now 
the town of Richmond and Bristol. One of the party, (the Rev. 
John Smith,) on their arrival at Canandaigua, preached the first 
sermon there, and first in all the Genesee country, save those 
preached by Indian missionaries, by the chaplain at Fort Niagara 
and at Brant's Indian church at Lewiston. The lands having been 
divided by lottery, Capt. Pitts drew for bis share, 3000 acres, at 
the foot of Honeoye lake, embracing the flats, and a cleared field 
which had been the site of an hidian village destroyed by Sullivan's 

In the spring of 1790, Gideon and William Pitts commenced the 
improvement of this tract. Coming in with a four ox team, they 
managed to make a shelter for themselves with the boards of their 
sled, ploughed up a few acres of open flats, and planted some spring 
crops, from which they got a good yield, preparatory to the coming 
in of the remainder of the family. Withal, fattening some hogs 
that William had procured in Cayuga county, driving them in, and 
carrying his own, and their provisions upon his back. Capt. Peter 
Pitts, started with the family in October, in company with John 
Codding and fixmily. They came from Taunton River in a char- 
tered vessel, as far as Albany, and from Schenectady by water, 
landing at Geneva. The tediousness of the journey, may be juchred 
from the fact that starting from Dighton on the 11th of October 
they did not arrive at Pitt's flats until the 2d day of December. 
A comfortable log house had been provided by Gideon and William. 
The family consisted of the old gentleman, his wife, and ten children' 
besides hired help. For three years they constituted the only family 
in town ; their neighbors, the Wadsworths at Big Tree, Capt. Taft 
in West Bloomfield, and the Coddings and Goodings, in Bristol. 
^ The House of this early family being on the Indian trail from 
Canandaigua to Genesee river — which constituted the early trav- 




elled road for the white settlors — " Capt. Pitts" and "Pitts FLls 
haa a vvide notoriety in all primitive days. ' It was the stoppincr 
place of the Wadsworths and Jones, of Thomas Morris and in 
lact ot all of the early prominent Pioneers of that region. Louis 
1 hrlhpe, when from a wanderer in the backwoods of America, he had 
become the occupant of a throne, remembered that he had spent a 
night ni the humble log house of Capt. Pitts. The Duke Liancourt 
strollmg every where through this region, in 1795, with his com- 
panions went from Canandaigua to make the patriarch of the back- 
woods a visit.* 

The Indians upon their trail, camping and hunting upon their old 
grounds, the flats, and the up lands around the Honeoye Lake 
were the almost constant neighbors of Capt. Pitts, in the earliest 
years. Generally they were peaceable and well disposed ; a party 
of them however, most of whom were intoxicated, on their way to 
the Pickering treaty at Canandaigua in 1794, attacked the women 
ot the family who refused them hquor, and Capt. Pitts, his son's 
aiid hired men, coming to the rescue, a severe conflict ensued 
Ihe assailed attacking the assailants with clubs, shovels and tonj:." 
soon vanquished them though peace was not restored,, until Hor-' 
atio Tones, fortunately arriving on his way to the treaty, interfered. 
Ihe first training in the Genesee country was held at Captain 
littsiiouso; a mihtia company, commanded by Captain William 
Wadsworth; and Pitt's Flats was for many years a training ground. 
Captain Peter Pitts died in 1812, aged 74 yeans. His eldest son 
Gideon, who was several times a member of the Legislature, and 
a delegate to the state convention in 1822, died in 1829 a-od 03 
years. The only survivors of the sons and daughters of Canj 
I itts, are, Pe ter Pitts, and Mrs. IJlackmer. A son! Samuel Pitts" 
" ~ — ■ — — . ) 

" The Dukii lias inadu ,i n^coici of ;h • " W.i cr.t n^^^ „-;.i, ui , T^ 

I ;mi,l it v,.„- ,lilli™ltl„ „b,„i„ i,„, .» f ' -„L l,,"i m/ t.,v t. , '''";i " " " 

better onus tlmn wo donyw." 



tts Flats " 
5 Stopping 
"is and in 
n. Louis 
ca, he had 
id spent a 
his com- 
the back- 

I their old 
)ye Lake 
10 earliest 
i ; a party 
ir way to 
le women 

his son's 
; ensued, 
nd tongs, 
mtil Hor- 
t Captain 

g ground. 
Idest son 
ure, and 
ngod 03 
of Capt. 
el Pitts 

it an c'lBtiUo 
10 cuuinry. 
^ attfii(li;r[j 
' t-'locutioii. 
iin.J "AVe 
f^vls tor our 
ii" tliiitlie 

II the iine 
is lieju'ur.i 
lu.i^'htcr of 
'i''s house 
■•n<j;nii {iiid 
lyst; much 


was an early and prominent citizen of Livonia. The descendants 
of Capt. Pitts are numerous. Levi Blackmer settled in Pittstown 
in '95, is still alive, aged 78 years, his wife, (the daughter of Capt. 
Pitts,) aged 72. In the summer of 1818, the boy who had driven 
an ox-team to the£tenesee country, in 1795, was at work on the 

The Duke Liancourt, said that Capt. Pitts had to "go to mill with 
a sled, twelve miles " ; this was to Norton's Mills. In '98, Thomas 
Morris built a grist and saw mill on the outlet of Hemlock Lake, and 
in 1802 Oliver Phelps built a grist mill on Mill Creek. 

In '95, Drs. Lemuel and Cyrus Chipman, from Paulet, Vermont, 
and their brother-in-law, Philip Reed, came into Pittstown, with 
their families. They came all the way by sleighing, with horse and 
ox teams. The teams were driven by Levi Blackmerr-Bercc 
Chamberlain, Asa Dennison, and Isaac Adams, all of whom became 
residents of the town. They were eighteen days on the road. 

Lemuel Chipman had been a surgeon in the army of the Revolu- 
tion. He was one of a numerous family of that name in Vermont, 
a brother of the well known lawyer, and law professor in Miudle- 
bury College. In all early years he was a prominent, public spirited 
and useful helper in the new settlements ; one of the best specimens 
of that strong minded, energetic race of men that were the founders 
of settlement and civil institutions in the Genesee country. He was 
an early member of the Legislature, and a judge of the courts of 
Ontario county ; was twice elector of President and Vice President ; 
and was a State Senator. Soon after 1800, he purchased, in con- 
nection with Oliver Phelps, the town of Sheldon, in Wyoming 
county, and the town was settled pretty much under his auspices! 
He removed to that town in 1828, where he died at an advanced 
age. His sons were Lemuel Chipman of Sheldon, deceased, father 
of Mrs. Guy H. Salisbury of Buffalo; Fitch Chipman of Sheldon ; 
and Samuel Chipman of Rochester, the well known pioneer in the 
temperance movement— now the editor of the Star of Temperance. 
A daughter became the wife of Dr. Cyrus Wells of Oakland county, 
Michigan, and another the wife of Dr. E. W. Cheney, of Canan- 

Dr. Cyrus Chipman emigrated at an early period to Pontiac, 
Michigan, where he was a Pioneer, and where his descendants 
principally reside. 




In the year 1796, Roswell Turner came from Dorset, Vermont, 
took land on the outlet of Hemlock Lake, cleared a few acres, built 
a log house, and in the following winter moved on his family, and 
his father and mother. The family had previously emigrated from 
Connecticut to Vermont. After a long and tedious journey, with 
jaded horses, tliey arrived at Cayuga Lake, where they were des- 
tined to encounter a climax of hardship and endurance. Crossing 
upon the ice on horseback, a part of the family, the Pioneer, his 
mother and two small children, broke through in a cold day, and 
were with difficulty saved from drowning by the help of those who 
came to their rescue from the shore. Arrived at their new home, 
sickness soon aadcd to their afflictions, and two deaths occurred in 
the family the first year. The residence of the family was changed 
in a year or two to the neighborhood of Allen's Hill, where tiiey 
remained until 1801, and then, as if they had not seen enough of 
the hardships of rioneer life, pushed on to the Holland Purchase, 
into the dark hemlock woods of the west part of Wyomino-, the 
I'ioneer making his own road, west of Warsaw, thirteen miles ; 
he and his family being tJie first that settled in all the region west 
of Warsaw, south of Attica and the old Buffalo road, and east of 
Hamburgh; — pages could be filled with the details of the hard- 
ships of the first lonely winter, its deep snows, the breaking of 
roads out to Wadsworth's Flats, and digging corn from under the 
snow to save a famishing stock of cattle too weak to subsist upon 
brouse, and other incidents which would show the most rugged 
features of backwoods life ; but it is out of the present beat. Ros- 
well Turner died in 1809. His sons were, the late Judge Horace 
S. Turner of Sheldon ; the author of this work ; and a younger 
brother, Chipman Pheljis Turner of Aurora, Erie county. Daugh- 
ters—Mrs. Farnum of Bennington; Mrs. Sanders of Aurora; 
and the first wife of Pliny Sexton, of Palmyra. 


I lu^mciiiber veiyi\cll, (Iiat ^\Il.■ll oailv .](>;itlis omirred in our family, no 
sea.som:d WkuxU could bo olilainod for ootliu.s, short of takino- down a parti- 
tion of our log-house. The second winter, myself, a sister, a'nd youn^ bro- 
ther, w;ent to st'hool two miles and a half through the wood.^ into what is 
uow Livonia. We went upon the old Eig Tree Road, and mostly find tn 



beat our own path, for but a few sleighs p.-is-sed during the winter. There 
was hut onefuniily — that of Mr. Brig2;s — on the way. 

I think it was in the summer of 1802, tliat a little daughter of one of our 
neighbors, 8ewal ]3oyd, three years old, was lost in the woods. A lively 
sympathy- was oi'cated in the neighborhood, the woods were scoured, the out- 
let waded, and the flood wood removed; on the third day, she was found in 
the woods alive, having some berries in her hand, which the instincts of 
hunger had caused her to pick. The nniscpietocs had preyed upon her until 
tney had caused running sores upon her face and arms, and the little wander- 
er had passed through a terriiic thunder storm. 

^ The Indians, if they were guilty of occasional outrage, had some of the 
nncst miiHiIses of the human heart. The wife of a son of Capt. Pitts, who 
had alwiiys been kind to them, was upon her death bed; hearing of it, the 
hqufiws came and wailed urouml the house, with all the intense grief they 
exhibit when mourning the death of kindred. 

Upon "Phelps' Flats," as they were called, near the Old Indian Castle, 
at the foot of Honooye Lake, in the iirst jjlouLrhing, many brass kettles, guns, 
beads, &c., were found. An old Squaw that had formerly resided upon the 
Hats, said that the approach of Sullivan's army was not discovered by them 
until they were seen coming over the hill near where Capt. Pitts built his 
house. They were quietly braiding their corn, and boiling their succotash, 
bhe said there was a sudden desertion of their village; all took to fli(rhtand 
eft the invaders an uncontested field. One Indian admitted that ife never 
looked back until he reached Buft'alo Creek. 

In the earliest j-ears, deer would come in flocks, and feed upon our gi-een 
wheat ; Elisha Pj-att, who was a hunter, made his home at our house, and I 
have known him to kill six and seven in a day. Bears would come and take 
the hogs from directly before the doors of the new settlers— sometimes in open 
day light. I saw one who had seized a valuable sow belonging to Peter 
Allen, and reti'eated to the woods, raising her with his paws clenched in her 
spine, and beating her against a tree to deprive her of life; persisting even af- 
ier men had approached ami were attacking him with clubs. ° 

_ I could relate many wolf stories, but one will perhaps be so incredible that 
It will sutl'ce. A Mr. Ilurlbuit, that lived in the west part of the town, was 
ruling through our neighborlioo.1, on a winter eveniuo-, and passing a strip of 
■woods near our house, a pack of wolves surrounded him, but his dog diverted 
their attention until he escaped. While sitting upon his horse, telling us the 
story, the ])ack came within fifteen rods of the house, and stoj)ping^upon a 
knoll almost deafened us with liieir howl. Retreating into the woods a short 
distance, they seemed by the noise to have a fight among themselves, and in 
the inorning, it was ascertained that they had actually killed and eat one of 
their own number ! * 

Capt. Harmon, built a barn in 1802 or '3; at the raising, an adopted son 
ot his, by the name of Butts, was killed outright, and Isaac Bishop wjisstun- 
noJ, supposed to be dead. He recovered, but with tiie entire loss of the fac- 

* This is not incredible ; other similar cases are triven upon i^ood authoritv. Vnm- 
ishiiig, iaveii,m.<; a fighl occurs, and usting blood, they know no distinction between 
uieir own and otier species. — AuiHoa. 



iilty of memory. Altlioiigli lie had possessed a good education, ho had lost 
It all, even the names of his childivn, his wife and farming utensils. His 
vMte re-taught him the rudiments of education, beginning with the ABC. 
!Uid the names of things. 

Rattle snakes were too common a thing to speak of; but we had a few of 
another kind of snake, that I have never heard or read of, elsewhere. It had 
a hom with which it would make a noise like the rattle of a rattle snake. 

In 1790 and '7, Peter Allen and his family ; his brother Nathaniel, 
and the father, Moses Allen, became residents of the town. The 
father and mother died in early years. Pete.' Allen was connected 
\.-ith early military organizations, and rose to the rank of a Brig. 
Gen.^ lie was in command of a Regiment at the buttle of Queens- 
ton, in which he was made a prisoner ; afterwards a member of the 
Legislatm-e from Ontario. DCr" See Peter Allen and "Hen. Fel- 
lows," Hammond's Political History. In 1810 he emigrated to In- 
diana, becouiingone of the pioneer settlers of Terra Haute ; i por- 
tion of his original farm, Veing now embraced in the village. He 
died in 1837, many of his descendants are residents of Terra 
Haute. Nathaniel Allen was the primitive blacksmith of Pitts- 
town ; working first as a journeyman in Canandaigua, and then 
starting a shop, first in the neighborhood of Pitts Flats, and after- 
wards, on the Hill, that assumed his name. He was an early officer 
of militia, deputy sheriff, member of the legislature. In the war 
of 1812, he successively filled the post of commissioner and pay 
master, on the Niagara Frontier. After the war, he was sheriff of 
Ontario county, and in later years, for two terms, its representative 
in Congress. He died at Louisville, Ky., in 1833, where he was a 
contractor for the construction of the canal around the Falls of the 
Ohio. Of five sons, but one survives. Dr. Orrin Allen, a resident 
of Virginia. An only daughter was the first wife of the Hon. R. 
L. Rose, who is the occupant of the homestead of the family on 
Allen's Hill. The family were from Dutchess county. The daugh- 
ters oi Moses Allen became the wives of Elihu Gifford, of Easton, 
Washington county, Samuel Wood worth of Mayville, Mont, co.,' 
Samuel Robinson of Newark, Wayne co.. Fairing Wilson, of Stock- 
bridge, Mass., Roswell Turner of Pittstown, Ont., and Stephen 
Durfee of Palmyra, Wayne county. 
Sylvester Curtis erected the first distillery iii town ; and James 




Henderson who Avas a pioneer at the head of Conesus Lake, was an 
early landlord upon the Hill. 

David Akin, Wm. Baker, Thomas Wilson, James Hazen, Silas 
Whitney, Cyrus Wells, the Johnsons, David Winton, Nathaniel 
Harmon, William Warner, were settlers in earliest years. 

Philip Reed, who came in with the Chipmans, died about twenty 
years ago. His surviving sons are Col. John F. Reed, Silas Reed, 
Wheeler Reed, Wm. F. Reed, and Philip Reed, all residing on and 
near the old homestead. 

As early as 1790 or '7, Elijah and Stiles Parker, Elisha Belknap, 
Col. John Gi-een, John Garlinghouse, became residents of the town. 
The four first namea, emigrated many years since to Kentucky, and 
in late years some of them have pioneered still further on, over 
the Rocky Mountains to Oregon. Joseph Garlinghouse, a son of 
the early pioneer, John Garlinghouse, an ex-sherilF of Ontario 
county, a prominent enterprising farmer, still resides in Richmond. 
A son of his married a daughter of Erastus Spalding, the early 
pioneer at the mouth of Genesee River ; another, the daughter of 
David Stout, a pioneer in Victor and Perinton. Daughters, are 
Mrs. Comstock, of Avon, and Mrs. Sheldon, of Le Roy. Mrs. Briggs 
and Mrs. Hopkins, of Richmond, are daughters of John Garling- 
house ; and a son and daughter reside in Iowa. 

Asa Dennison who is namea in connection with the Chipmans, 
still survives, a resident of Chautauque county. 


In all of the old town of Gorham, at first Easton, (what was is 
now Gorham and Hopewell,) a few settlers began to drop in along 
on the main road from Canandaigua to Geneva, as early as 1790. In 
July of that year, there were the families of Daniel Gates, Daniel 

Warren, Sweets, Platts, Samuel Day, and Israel Cha- 

pin jr. who had commenced the erection of the mills upon the 
outlet. Mr. Day was the father of David M. Day, the early ap- 
prentice to the printing business with John A. Stephens in Canan- 
andaigua, and the founder of what is now one of the prominent 
and leading newspapers of western New York, the Buffalo Commer- 



cal Adverfser. Daniel Warren emigrated to SI.eldon, now Wyo- 
m,ng CO., ,„ ,8,0 or ■„, „l,ere he died within a few yea " I'ome 
roy Warren of Attiea. Wyoming eo., is a son of h^ and Mrf 
Harry J ara.lton. near Little For,, Ilhnois, is a daughter 

Conn., bo h were out with Mr. Phelps in his primilive .advent 
They purchased land in Gorham, paying ,s cd per aero. Tl !:« 

mwT;,: .: "f /.■=«" '«'•«"- H-vastl ,irsteollee.orof 
aies of the town of Gorham. His descendants are numerous a 

Hrdt" f-rs r" '1 "^"=*'^" ^"™"-8 heads of fl L 
H.S daug^ite s the wives of Asahel IJurch.ard, the early 
P oneer of L,,„a; Asa Denton, Shubel Clark and J.amo Wyckoff 
1 "; Bantcl Gates, jr. died in ,8,2; his wife was a sister o 

he wtfe of Major Miller the early pioneer near Buffalo, and o 
the Wife of Capt. Folle.t ; Daniel Gates of Palmyra is asoi 

earr,7 ror"'^" ","' '"'z ^"^ "" "^'•'™'^ °f «-'>-" - 

early as 179G or 7: — James Wood, Perlev Gitps T„ ii 

Frederick Miller Sdas Eeed, Cap,! FreZictp II^ITl S 

JorWarm ""' ""'"""' '"'^°^'' ■' '°'^^' -" J-- ^'"^^ 

Major Frederick Miller left Gorham soon after ,800 a' 1 was a 

Roneer at Black Roek, the early landlord and keeper of thTe^y 

M,s Darnel Gates jr., were daughters of George Babcoek. 

Silas Reed died m 1834, at the age of 70 years ; an only sur- 

Tf loi, »:£! ■ " "'■'' ''°"°"' °' '''''^''' "-' " -M- 

™t,bone and E hsha Williams, on the Kingston side of the river,n s,gl,t ol .he Wilkesbarre Fort, the party were s d nly at 

rnd^leTnS''SeT:i,;r::,'^-'s:il;f •""'="-''''»-'» 

fpll ^.. I • f , ^^""•''Pf^ais. fctill having consciousness, he 

fell on Ins face ~ be.n. unable to escape - held his breath as much 

lation at the hands ol his ruthless pursuer.. But he was not thus 



ovv Wyo- 
s; Pome- 
and Mrs. 

The old 
'Hector of 
merous, a 
' families, 
the early 
sister of 
, and of 

3rham as 

- Ingalls, 


Hrdseye ; 

\ was a 
he ferry 
nd Mrs. 
Ictt and 

•nly sur- 
ime the 

tiers of 
e river, 
■nly at- 
red and 
less, he 
s much 
r muti- 
ot thus 

to bo spared. The Indians came up to him, and without any un- 
necessary delay or useless ceremony, scalped him as he lay in hia 
gore and agony ; and but for tlie approach of assistance from the 
fort, would no doubt have ended his days with the tomahawk. 
The spear wounds were severe and deep — one of which penetra- 
ted his stomach, so that its contents came out at his side ! His 
case was deemed hopeless, but kindness prompted all the aid that 
medical and surgical skill could allbrd. lie was placed i i charge 
of Dr. William Hooker Smith, who did all in his power to save 
him — and his eflbrts were crowned with success, and he a 
hearty and well man. He was then young and full of vigor, and 
never experienced any particular inconvenience from these severe 
wounds, except occasional pain from one of the bullets, which was 
never extracted from his body, and extreme sensitiveness to the 
slightest touch, or even the air, of that portion of the head from 
which the scalp was removed. 

He afterwards entered the naval service — was captured, and 
taken to Halifax, and confined in a dungeon six months ; was re- 
leased ; entered the service again, and was twice captured by the 
British, and eventually returned to his native country, to Dalton, 
Berkshire county, Mass., from whence he removed at an early day 
to Gorham. 

It is a somewhat singular coincidence that his eldest son- now 
dead — who entered the naval service as a midshipman, in 1812, 
was captured on board the Chesapeake in her engagement with the 
Shannon, and was also imprisoned in the same dungeon six months 
that his father had occupied during our first confiict with the pow- 
ers of England. 

" Capt. Follett " is frequently mentioned in the manuscripts of 
Charles Williamson, and would seem to have been in his employ as 
early as 1794. His surviving sons are, :— Orrin Follett, an early 
printer and editor at Batavia, and a member of the legislature from 
Genesee county, now a resident of Sandusky, Ohio ; his second 
wife, a niece of James D. Bemis, of Canandaigua ; Nathan Follett 
of Batavia; and Frederick Follett, of Batavia, the successor of his 
brother, as a printer and editor — for a long period honorable assc 
•lated with the public press of the Genesee country — and at 
present, one of the Board of Canal Commissioners of this State ; 
having in immediate charge the western division of the Erie Canaii 



M. Folletl, of Ihe U. S. army, a Rraduate of West roint ■ a .ir- 
cun^s ance wor.l.y of mention, as ,l,e patronage of tha M&na. 
cheol ,s not always a, well bestowed, as in this instanee, upon the 
d scendant of one so eminently entitled to be remember d L ser 
™e^ sacr,nces and sulTerings, unparalleled in our Revolutionary 



tol. About the period that Mr. Phelps was holding his treaty with 
the Indians, ■„ 1T88, they locatod at the Old Indfan ebari Tn,l 

1 lonccr MiJi that has heen often named in other connections Hp 
died many years since. Joseph Gilbert was living a ewLnS 
since, at the age of 93 years; if living now, he is the ordeTtsur 
vivmg resident of the Gene.see country 

Deacon William Gooding and George Codding were amon. thp 

ew who wintered in the Genesee c^'ountry in'l789 T" b1 

famihes have been widely known, and few have been more usoM 

Deacon John G„o.i„g, another son, was one of h Irlv fo^T" 
of Lockport, Niagara county, where he died in ,838 oT'o " 

Coddin- Town Clerk Olhe,r, 2 ®"I"'"''Sor, and John 

Nathan Allen, nI i „ierFH,e i\* Goo7''";T '°'"''"="' 
Moses Porter. Amos Barber AldenSersrS Z '!f'' 
Stephen Sisson, Amos Uice', ^^^l^^^r^^J'^'^f 

Dan.el Bur,, Mose, Porter, Jonathan Wilde" 'ti'^SiHC 



nt; a cir- 
t national 
, upon the 
ed for ser- 

s of iJris- 
eaty with 
hard, and 
the small 
ons. He 
V months 
dest sur- 

nong the 
0. Both 
re usefu] 
e health- 
is. The 
reside in 
)dding is 
is a son 

>f 1797. 
id John 

ere : ■ — . 


Elnathan Gooding, Chauncsy Allen, Samuel Mallory, Ephraim 
Francis, Seth Hathaway, Constant Simmons, James Carl, Zebulon 


Township 12, R. 2, originally a part of Farmington, now Man- 
chester; settlement commenced as early as 1793. Stephen Jared, 
Joel Phelps, and Joab Gilleit, were the fu'st settlers. DCP For 
Stephen Phelps, see Palmyra. Gillett, in early years, moved to No. 
9, Canandaigua. 

Nathan Pierce, from Berkshire, was a settler in 1795. But small 
openings had then been made in the forest. Mr. Pierce erected a 
log house, had split bass wood floors, no gable ends, doors, or win- 
dows ; neither boards or glass to be had ; and " wolves and bears 
were his near neighbors." Coming from Parker's Mills through 
the woods at night, with his grist on his back, a pack of wolves 
followed him to his door. Brice Aldrich, a Pioneer of Farmington, 
w^as taking some fresh meat to Canandaigua on horseback, when a 
wolf stoutly contended with him for a share of it. There were 
many Indian hunters camped along on the outlet ; some times the 
whites would carry loads of venison to Canandaigua for them, 
where it would be bought up, and the hams dried and sent to an 
eastern market. Trapping upon the outlet was profitable for both 
Indians and whiles. 

Mr. Pierce was supervisor of Farmington for fifteen years, and 
an early magistrate ; he died in 1814 ; his widow is now living, at 
the age of 87 years. His surviving sons are: —Nathan Pierce, 
of Marshall, Michigan, Darius Pierce, of Washtenaw, Ezra Pierce 
of Manchester. Daughters : — Mrs. Peter Mitchell, of Manches- 
ter, Mrs. David Arnold, of Farmington. John McLouth, from 
Berkshire, came in '95, was a brother-in-law of Nathan Pierce ; 
died in 1820. Joshua Van Fleet, was one of the earliest; was an 
officer of the Revolution, a member of the legislature from Ontario ; 
a judge an*d magistrate, and the first supervisor of Manchester. 
He is 90 years of age, a resident of Marion, Ohio. First merchant, 
Nathan Barlow, a son of Abner Barlow, of Canandaigua; -resides 
now in Michigan. First physician, James Stewart. Nathan 



arr hk 'l h, f ^' ""^ '-i'™'' ""'' Mrs. Simmons of I'helpg 

1-h. :""'"T'" ?^ purchasing a la,.o tract of i:nrTt 
Hn" t ;'T '^^•«'" Berkshire; Gilbert died in 1830. Nicholas 
Howland of Farmington. and Jonathan IIou land of Adrian 
igan, are his sons. Mrs Sil-is T{m„.n ^r u i ^^ '"^"' ^"'cn- 
a daughter. °^ Hamburg, Erie county, is 

John Lamunion, came in early years ; was from Rhode Island 

of ctt fTu f? ''''' ^"^^- «'^ -•^^' -'- -- the w ow 
of Capt. Follett, died two or three year, since. 

leleg Redfield. was a townsman of Mr. Thelps in SufT.eld • was 
a musican m the Connecticut lineduringthe 99 
he exchanged wuh Mr. Phelps, his small farm in Suffield. fo 200 

r PhlT' H ' f ""'.' ^.'T ^^ '^^•^'^' °" ^^y unsold lands of 
Mr Phelps. He selected the land where he now resides on the 

Ra.l Road, a m.le and a half we.^ of Clifton Springs ; (a judiciou 
se ectjon, as any one will allow, who sees the fine farm inCw eh 
t has been converted ; ) clearing three acres and erecting the body of 
a og house he removed his family in Feb. 1800, consistmg of a wiJe 
and s.x children. " The journey," says a son of his, '^ was pe, form- 
ed wuh a sleagh and a single span of horses. Besides theZX 
h sle,gh was loaded with beds and bedding, and articles of house 
hold fun.ture. I shall never forget this, my first journey to the 
Genesee country, especially that portion of it west of Utica The 
snovv was three feet deep, and the horses tired and iodod'by the 
crad e-holes, often refused to proceed farther with their loaJ I 
had the privilege of riding down hill, but mostly walked with my 
father, my mother driving the team." ^ 

Arriving at their new home, the Pioneer familv found shelter with 
anew settler, "until the bark would peel in the spring," when a 
roof was put upon the body of the log house that Mr. Redfield had 
erected ; openings made for a door and window, and bass-wood logs 

? ,1 ' r- "''" '^' ^"^'^y ^'^'^'^^"^'^ ""ti' -utu'nn. when a 
double log house had been erected. Mr. Redfield is now in his 
80th year; his memory of early events, retentive, and his physical 
constitution remarkable for one of his years. He is the fatiier of 


the Hon. Ileman J. RedncKJ, of Batavia; of Lewis II. Ro.lfiol.l 

p ,7 . rT "'''"'*' ^'"^'"'^'"'■' ^"^ l^«ok,seIIcr at Syracuse ; Hiram 
Kodfiold of Rochester, George Redfield, Cass co. Michigan Alex- 
ander H. Redfield of Detroit, Cuyler Redfield, with whom he i-e 
sides upon the old homestead. His .on. Manning Redfield, of Man 
Chester, was killed in a mill where he was marketing his grain in 
1850. One of his daughters, was the wife of Leonard Short of 
hhortsv.lle, and the other, of Marvin Minor, a merchant at Bergen 
and Johnson's creek. "I could have made my location at I^rl 
Will, near Canandnigua," said the old gentleman to the author "but 
a town was growing up there, and I feared its influence upon my 
boys. There are many Pioneer fathers who have lived to regret 
that they had not been governed by the same prudent motive ' ' 
The Pioneer mother died in 1844, aged 80 years. It will appeal 
incredible to the house keepers, and young mothers of the present 
day when they are told, that Mrs. Redfield, in early years, when 
she had a family of six and seven children, performed all her ordin^ 
ary huu^e-work, milked her own cows ; and carded, cpun and wove 
all the woolen and linen cloth that the family wore. But the old 
gentleman thinks it should be (.dded, that he and the boys licrhtened 
her labor, by uniformily wearing buckskin breeches in the winter; 
tfiough the mother had them to make. 


rv i? I ^ ^?'''^ ''''t ^''" '■''*'''*"'^' ^^ fi'^^ it up and hired Elam 
Crane to toucli a school. It was a mile from my house, and my boys used 
to go throiigfi the wood.s by maikod trees. ^ ^ 

mi?" r\^ ^'"'■'"m ''■"''''■' ''■'"■'' '"^ ^'''^^ ""i^nnce; nothing sliort of a pen sixteen 
it. ';- W f^t^'^'t «»■• «1"^^P- in ^vinters, when hungry, they would 
CO lect together and prow around the log dwellings; and if disappointed in 
sccirnig any prey then- howling would sturtlo even backwoodsmen. The 
Imhan wa,^ upon the wolf with great hatred ; it is in a spirit of re^■enge for 
..en preyinjT up .u tlien- game, the deer. In the side hill, along on my farm 
l^jy dug pits, covered them over with light brush and leaves, and bendinff 
clown small trees, suspended the ortiils of deer dir.ictly over the pits. In 
sprm-nng for the b|ut tlie wolf would land in the bottom of the pits where they 
c-ouM easdy be k, lied. The salmon us.d ,o ascend the Canandaigua outH 
as ar up as Shortsvilo, before mill dams were erected. The speckled trout 
we.e plenty^n the gulphiu-^S pring brook ; and in all the small streams. 

'•'*£y ?n"lT8i'"^ ""''""^ '" '""^ BristolIgedT37e^8Th^l^;;;rt^ the Genesee 



«l,e3 per biBbd, u, Watts Stem,™ J^ ' f ^;'**°f "'«'•■"■ I »U it for 

bofght tads tor t^rSvc l°,s r:r:ct '""" ■' ""^ '" ""=" '*»'■■ -" 

I 'iw!l 

h''^!''^ ^^"''^ '''"' °^S^^"i=^ed in Manchester in 1804- the 

evvey. i his was the first legal organization, a society had been 
formed previous to 1800. Judge Phelps gave the soci:'y a ste for 

Rev Anson .Sh/vn! . ? "^^^^^"g house was erected, 

for 25 x. 1 ^^ °''"''^ *'^' "'^"^"'^' ^"^ ^^'"^^ined its pastor 

T e M tl^:^i;tslaT''"*^^^^''^^''^^^^"^ ^^'^^^-^ '^'--' -^«^^ 

I ne Methodists had a society organization as early as 1800 hold 
ang their primitive meetings in school and private houses. ' 

St. John s Church, Farmington," (Episcopal, at Sulphur Springs ) 
vas organized by the Rev. Devenport Phelps, in 1807. Th offi 
cers were: -John Shekels. Samuel Shekels, wardens- Dart 

Wn^ms^ '^" '""rr ^^"»"^ '^'''^' A-hibald A Ll, Da 
Williams, Thomas Edmonston, Alexander Howard, William Pow- 


Hilt' Tr.p""'' '* *J" ^'"'' "^ *^'« S'"'^l' family-in sio-],tof "Mormon 
it in it« caro.r,\n I L W to fl^ I '■ Tl^- 1" '^ '' ''''''' ^"^ "'''''•<>' ^'^''^'4 

^'S^:S:^T%f^!7^l'^'-^^^'^f^^ J^ - ^- the 
tr, 11. ilo fi,>. settled in or near Palmyra village, but as 

man's store. C.inancliugua Banker, who was the bo„k keeper L Shl7- 

PublttSo'^H^l'"!''^^''^'^^ keeper at Qcnovn. The 
public at the Sprmga.-.n,! Wiulam was thclandCi. 

two brothers liad erected a 




ss and naik. I 
?at. I sold it for 
ndjuiid ISdper 

\arliest yeai's of 
ilieir labor, and 

in 1804; the 
and Jeremiah 
ety had been 
"'y a site for 
erected a log 
was erected, 
led its pastor 
3ied in 1845. 
s 1800, hold- 

lur Springs.) 
• Tlie offi. 
5ns; Darius 
l3eal, Davis 
illiam Povv- 

)f "Mormon 
lid siiio'ularly 
crc'Iy starting 
to Kirtlaud, 

as fi'oiri tlio 
IJagc, Lilt as 

'd l)j Hoiiry 
l)er 111 SLer- 

ad ort'ctod a 

early as 1819 was the occupant of some new land on " Stafford street" m the 
town of Manchester, near tlie Tne of Palmyra.* " Mormon Hill " is near the 
plank road about half way between the villages of Palm3Ta and Manchester. 
The elder Smith had been a Univei-salist, and subsequently a Methodist; was 
a good deal of a smatterer in Scriptural knowledge: but the seed of revela- 
tion was sown on weak ground; he was a great balili^r, credulous, not espe- 
cially industi'ious, a money digger, prone to the marvellous; and withal, aht- 
tle given to dilHculties with neighbors, and petty law-suits. Not a very pro- 
pitious account of the father of a Prophet,— the founder of a state; but there 
was a " woman in the case." IIowe\-er jiresent, in matters of good or evil ! — 
In the garden of Eden, in the siege of Troy, on the field of Orleans, f in the 
dawning of the Reformation, in the Palace of St. Peterebuigh, and Kremlin 
of INIoscow, in England's histoiy, and Spain's proudest era; and here upon 
this continent, in the persons of Ann Lee, Jemima Wilkinson, and as wo are 
about to add, Mrs. Joseph Smith! A mother's influences; in the world's 
history, in the history of men, how distinct is the impress I — In heroes, in 
statesmen, in poets, in all of good or bad aspirations, or distinctions, that 
single men out from the, and give them notoriety ; how often, almost in- 
variably, are we led back to the influences of a mothei', to find the germ that 
has sprouted in the offspring. 

The reader will excuse this interruption of nari'ative, and be told that Mrs. 
Smith was a woman of strong uncultivated intellect; artful and cunning; im- 
bued with an illy regulated religious enthusiasm. The incipient hints, the 
first gi\ ings out that a Projihet was to spring from her humble household, 
came from her; and when matters were matui'ingfor denouement, she gave 
out that such and such ones — always fixing upon those who had both money 
and credulity — were to be instruments in some great work of new revelation. 
The old man was rather her faithful co-worker, or executive exponent. Their 
son, Alvah, was originally intended, or designated, by fireside consultations, 
and solemn and mysterious out door hints, as the forth coming Pi'ophet. Tho 
mother and the father said he was the chosen one ; but Alvjili, however spir- 
itual he may have been, had a carnal ap]ietite ; eat too many gi-een turnips, 
sickened and died. Thus the world lost a Pi'ophot, antl Morinonism a leailcr; 
the designs impiously and wickedly attributed to Pro\idence, defeated; and 
all in consequence of a surfeit of raw turnips. Who will talk of the cackling 
geese of Rome, or any other small and innocent causes of mighty e\-ents, af- 
ter this? The mantle of tho Prophet which Mis. and Mr. Josejih Smith and 
one Oliver Cowdery, had >vove of themselves — every tarcad of it — fell upon 
their next ekh^st son, Joseph Smith, Jr. 

And a most unpromising reci|)ient of such a trust, was this same Joseph 
Smith, Jr., afterwards, "Jo. Smith." He was lounging, idle; (not to say 
vicious,) and possessed of less than ordinary intellect. The author's own re- 
collections of him are distinct ones. He used to come into tho village of 
Palmyra with little jags of wood, from his backwoods home; sometimes pat- 
ronizing a village grocery loo freely ; sometimes find an odd job to do about 

* Here Iho luithor rcnioinbors to have first scon the family, in the winter of '19, '20, 
in a nule log house, with but a small spot undurbrushe J oi-'ouud it. 

t France. 



Uie store of Seymour Se(U'f.ll • o„ i 

"dare i>...7." *' to oneo andTwl^lf: f ''T'" .""'' ""l"'''"'^ '" "^ V<n,ng 
inquisitive lounger-but'iw 1^''r", tiie iace of the then meMing 
wlien ],e used to put hi f i | ' '"^''f ' ^^'^''/^'^ «'^' ^'^^W'-'ned hallj press! ViL e t^ ^t cK '" "I 1^ ^^'^'^ ^'^' ^^^^--J 
may justly consider himself for 1 .,n ' ''^^ ^^ ''''"J-^-^^teemed as he 

t}nuU of i ^vith eontriti^ a^ v^^"'; .^^V''^"'" T'^ "f '=""^' "''^^ 
%ure the face of a P.^ophet -md i '., '^J '^'f"'^ ''"''P'^''' ^1^"-^ ^ dis- 

But Joseph had a iS 1') v ''''' *''^' ^^'""•l^''' "fa State. 

nK.her'siilllS'oJc £Sft;r 

used to help us sohe .omo or .? • '"" *•''''''■' '^•Temlly when he 

iu our Juviule deb t J h ^ Sl.;j""''T f '"""' ^ I-'!^i«^* ethics, 
house onDurfee street/^o 4 H f .^ '""''^' '''^^y" '" ^'"^ "'^l ''^^^l school 
in upon us in the villa «• an I 1. ;'""«3;'nee of c.^itics that used to drop 

disnl in the ean.p nS;^ "w^ tT i^^^ ^'^"' T^^^""^ ^^ ^'^^'* ''^ ^^'^^l- 
w^ a ,e,y pass.^le oxho^eHn\'::;;";:;;S;^r'^' "' ^^'^ '^^^""^ ^-^'' ^- 

l>isla(lL. and mothir .'LS? n ^.i;"' S°?f 1" •^' r '"V^'^ ^'"^^ ^'^^^^ 
••ompanied his father in the n.idiSf K ; "• '"'^ ''"''''"'' ^"'^ ^'^'^^ ^''- 

that guarded it. ""^'"'gi^t deh mgs, and mcantations of the spirits 

rJl^, ';"ti;'h:;rS:% ^;;i^£;r^''' '^7 -^"-^.-« ^^ ^1.. ti. smith 

was to eo„,e from thei £;, t,1 1 u l"';! J"'"'^rT^'"' '^''' ^ ^''-^J-''^^ 
AWon Ilill was the p.aee^;.:,:^ it tS ^d^' ^'^^ ^*^ ^^^ ^^'^^ 

an]^mc!;f::lSnf^th'n r^]:St 1??"^'" ^^'^^-^^^ ^™''v. 

foun,lation for the stateml h tl >? 1 V""™"^'"^''' '''^'* ^^'''^ i« "« 
Mr. Spauldin- of Olio A I ,' . ^'"','' '"''""^'^I't was written hy a 

Comniandnis" n II prowK^^ ^f ''"' "'1''- I^ook 'of 

been aided by Spauldin^l ttu^;,; J^ ^fj^ ^ L^ ''t •'"'•^f "'^ ''-« 
a production of tl,e Smith fann^^ a «U. oi r r T'^' '' ;"''"'"' ^'""''^' 
teacher on Stafford street an infh If > ^ u ?t'"-''' ^^''^ ^^s a school 
with the whole niatte Th 2 ; ';'^ "u ^'-if' ^T^y^ ""^1 ^'I^^^tilied 
it, or even given it u ur^ - ? t rn^';i.rV""';''''' ^'^ '—- ^ 
n>an. The bungling attcmp" to count M-fS tl ? . "" f ''."'"^'^^ ^'^"' "'• ^^'O' 
intermixture of inodernlXlo'v '^' ' '.'^ the Scriptures; the 

Pl'v ; it. utter crudm'y ; ^l dn;.?'i^"'''f 7 "'* chronology and eeogra- 
clearly exhibits its vuh.^. Sin Ta^." wholc^ stamp ite character and 
and bad composition ° ° " '^™-' '"^^^"^■>' ^'^ ^^P^ures, romance, 

■Jhtained by a cheat and afriud T P.""'"!''.';^'/'^ a desire for noton,.f\-, t,, be 


pr^.S.:t;w;:;i;:j.:;!;.::;:r^,2-j^r£"/'''' '-'?:■■• ^'-i^' '- rcn,in.i«f that np. 

c^iiod, and j,u.ua4 it w^ r^^'^p;;^!;;;,:;^^ "^ ^'^-^ --^ «"ttoai.o.^ bce^ th!;; I 



into tho office 
i-S ill lis young 
len meddling 
Aioned liall.'s, 
old f'ahhioJiej 
teemed as lie 
eftilnoss, may 
1, thus to dis- 

)iration,s; tho 
illy when ho 
'liticaJ etliies, 
Id red school 
used to drop 
■k of M(!tho- 
nna road, he 

ill as the de- 

t only heard 

but had ae- 

of the spirits 

It the Smith 
t a Prophet 
; and that 

lith family, 
there is no 
ritteii hy a 
le Book of 
9 may have 
lout doubt, 
^as a school 
■ identified 
> liavo read 
nan or wo- 
>tnres; tho 
nd gcogra- 
'at'ter, and 
, romance, 

whry, was 
■iefy, to be 
1 ne\v sect, 

<1 that np. 
I'eou thus 

The projectors of the humbug, being destitute of means for carryin5«- out 
tlieir plans, a vi(^tim wjus s('lected to obviat(! that ditficulty. Martin Harris, 
was a farmer of Palmyra, the owner of a good farm, and an honest worthy 
citizen ; but especially gi\'en to religious enthusiasm, new creeds, the more 
extravagant the better; a monomaniac, in fact. Jtweph Smith upon whom 
the mantle of prophecy had fallen after the sad fate of Alv;i, began to make 
demonstrations, lie informed Harris of tho great discovery, and that it had 
been revealed to him, that he (Harris,) was a chosen instrument to aid in the 
great work of surprising the world with a new re\elation. They had hit up- 
on the right man. Ho mortgaged his fine farm to pay for priming the book, 
assumed a gra\e, mysterious, and uneailhly d(.>portment, and made he're and 
there among his acipiaintances solemn annunciations of the great event that 
W!is transpii'ing. His version of the discoverv, as coramunieated to him by 
tho Pi'ophet Joseph hims('lt; is well remembered by several respectable citi- 
zens of Palmyra, to whom he made early disclosures. It was in substance, as 
follows : 

The Prophet Joseph, was directed by an angel where to find, by excava- 
tion, at the place afterwards called Mormon Hill, tlu! gold jilates; and was 
compelled by the angel, much against his will, to be the interjireterof the sa- 
cred record they contained, and publish it to the world. That the j-lates 
contained a record of the ancient inhabitants of this C(nmtry, " eno-ra\(,'d by 
Mormon, the son of Nei)hi.'" That on tho top of the box containinoM;he phites, 
"a pair of large spectacles were found, tho stones or glass set in which were 
opa(pie to all but tho Piophet," that "these belonged to Mormon, the cjigra- 
ver of the plates, and without them, the plates could not be read." Ilarris'as- 
sumed, that himself and Cowdcny Avere the chosen amanuenses, and that the 
Prophet Jos(>ph, cuitained trom the woi'ld and them, with his spectacles, read 
from the gold j)lates what they counnitted to paper. Harris exhibited to an 
informant of the author, the manuscript 1 itlo page. On it were drawn, rudely 
and bunglingly, concentric circles, l)ctween above and below which were char- 
actors, with littl(i resemblance to letters; apparently a miserable imitation of 
hieroglyphics, the writer may have somewlKMv seen. To guard against pi'o- 
fane curiosity, tho Prophet had given out that no one but himself, not even 
his chosen co-operators, must l)e permitted to see them, on i>ain of instant 
death. Harris had n(.!\er seen the j^lates, but the glowing account of their 
massive richness excited other than spiritual hopes, and he ujion one occasion, 
got a village silver-smith to help him estimate their value; taking as a b;isis, 
the Prophet's account of tlieir dimensions. It was a blemling of Uie spiritual 
and utilitaiian, that threw a shadow of doubt upon Martin's sincerity. This, 
and some anticipations he indulged in, as to tho profits that would arise from 
the sale of tiio (Jold Bible, made it then, as it is now, a mooted question, 
whether he was altogether a dup(\ 

Tho wife of Harrs was a rank infidel and heretic, touching the whole thing, 
and deciiledly ojiposed to her husband's partici[)ation in it. With saeriligioiia 
hands, slu^ seized over an hundred of the manuscript pages of the new'Teve- 
l.'ition, and iiurned or secreted them. It was agi-cei] by the Smith family, 
t'ow.lery and Harris, not to transcribe those again, but to let so much of the 
new re\ elation drop out, as the "evil spirit would get up a story that tho 
second translation did not agree with the first." A verv in^'onious metluxl 
surely, of guarding against the possibility that Mrs. Harris had preserved tlio 



.onSL'f :',S »',!:it,^„7 sl'iif £.;,*" 7'?;r = f ""st' i- 
'tt'rf °n.',:il di""'*, TrTT' "■"■" '"''"■-■ H« .""™«i'iiX 

uie iu(, ot ci baptiht older, biitlia.l by some iirevious froak if the iiitlior i^ 
mat,,,,, Dc«,g,,,„g i,„I„t,o„.s dirf,<„,«i, „„,li.,i,„ so„,I,l„„cc of "3 

"Yo too, b:licvers of incredible creeds, 
WLosu faith enshrines tlio monsters wliich it breeds ; 
Who bolder, even tlian Nimrod, think to rise 
By nonBciiBo henped on nonsense to the skies; 
Ye shall have miracles, aye, sound ones too, 
Seen, lieard, attested, every thing Ijiit true. 
Your preaching zealots, too insi)ired to seek 

One grace of meaning for the things they sjieak ; 
Youi- martyrs ready to shed out theii- blood 

ttempt an iuir 

lioiiseliold of 
5 absence, tlie 
libors. They 
the sliore of 
1 cotton, and 
5 stone, in a 
it will be ob- 
was the same 
3nded discov- 

ad with some 
le credulous, 
inie across "a 
3ne. In tlie 
ce. Enlarg- 
d then explo- 
-lurknoss. " 
'hetsand the 
■Idly as wore 
)usiness con- 
by spiritual 
of the new 
d witnessed 
proceeds of 
I of $2,500, 

original in- 
) made his 
■■ of impos- 
oithily bore 
e author is 
ous denom- 
ce of sanc- 

the Smith 
1 they were 
et, or more 
jd Prophet 


For truths too heavcnlj to be understood ;" 

* * # , 

" They shall liave niystcrie.s— aye, precious stuff 
For knaves to thrive by— mysteries enough ; 
Dark tangled doctrines, diirkas fraud can weave, 
Wliich simple votaries shall on trust receive, 
Wliilc craftier feign belivf, 'till tliey believe." 

Under tlie auspices of Ri^rdon, a n«nv scet, the Mormon.s, was proiectod 
prophcc.s fell thick .and fast tVoin the li,>s of ; old Mrs. Smith Issum- 
ed all the airs o the mother of a J^rophet ; that particular family of 
bmiths were .saigled out and became e.Kalted above ail their k-o^ion of name- 
sakes. _ I ho ball, clumsy cheat, found here and there an enthusiast, a mo- 
nomaniac or ,-. knave, in and an.und its primitive localitv, to help it upon its 
start ; and soon, like another scheme of imposture, (that had a little of dij?- 
mty and plausibility in it,) it had its Hegir..^ or llio-Ut, to Kirtland; then to 
^auvo; thentoashort re.stin;r pl^ce in Missouri— and then on over the 
Ivocky Mountains to Uta li, or the Salt Lake. IJanks, printing oilices, tem- 
pH cities, and hnally a State, have arisen under its auspices. Converts have 
multiplied to tens of tlu.u.sands. In .several of the countries of Europe there 
are preachei>. and organized sects of Mormons ; believers in the divine mission 
ot Jose})h Smith & Co. 

And liere the subject must be dismissed. If it has been treated lio-htlv — 
with a_ seeming levity -it is because it will admit of no other treatment. 
1 here IS no dignity about the whole thing ; nothing to entitle it to mild 
treatment. It deserves none of the charity cxU^nded to ordinary reli"iou« 
la ^uacisin for knavery and fraud has been with it incipienily and progress- 
ively. It has not even the poor merit of ingenuity. Its succes,s is a slur"ipon 
the ago. promoted it at first; then ill advised persecution • 
then the designs of demagogues who wislu'd to command the suilVao-es of 
Its followers ; until finally an American Congress has abetted the fraud and 
imposition by Its acts, and we are to have a state of our proud Union — 
in this boasted era of light and knowlodnre — the very name of which will 
sanction and dignify the fraud and falsehood of Mormon Hill, tli.; gold plates 
and the spurious revelation. This much, at least, might havci been omitted 
out of decent respect to the moral and religious sense of the people of thu 
01(1 smti6s* 


Township No. II, R. 3, (now Fanuington,) was the first sale of 
Phelps and Gorham. Tlie purchasers were : — Nathan Comsfock, 
Benjamin Russell, Abraham Laphain, Edmund Jenks, Jeremiah 
Brown, Ephraim Fish, Nathan Herendcen, Natiian Aldrich, Ste- 
phen Smith, Benjamin Rickeason, William P>aker and Dr. Daniel 
Brown. Tiic deed was given to Nathan Comstock, and Benjamin 

V -__ 


rnELPs AND goriiam's purchase. 



Russell ; all except Russell, Jenks, J. Brown, Fish, Rickenson, Ba- 
ker and Smith, became residents upon the purcliase. Jn 1789, Na- 
than Comstock, with two sons, Otis and Darius, and Robert Hatha- 
way, came from Adams, Berkshire county, Mass. ; a part of them by 
the water route, landing at Geneva, with their provisions, and a 
1- -♦ by land with a liorse and some cattle. When the overland 
party had airived within 15 miles of Seneca Lnkc, they had the ad- 
dition of a calf to their small stock, which Otis Comstock carried 
on his back, that distance. They arrived upon the new purchase, 
built a cabin, cleared four acres of ground, and sowed it to wheat. 
Their horse died, and thoy were obliged to iriake a pack horse of 
Darius, who went once a week through the woods to Ooneva, where 
he purchased provisions and carried them on his back, twenty niiles, 
to their cabin in the wilderness. Upon the approach of winter, 
the party returned to Massachusetts, leaving Otis Comstock to take 
care of the stock through the winter, with no neighbors otlicr than 
Indians and wild beasts, nearer thai. Bougliton Hill and Canandai- 
gua. About the same period of the advent of the Comstocks, 
Nathan Aldrich, one of the proprietors of the township, came by 
the water route, landing his provisions and 3ced wheat at Geneva, 
and carrying them upon his back to the new purchase ; he clear- 
ed a few acres of ground, sowed it to wheat and returned to Mass- 

In the month of February, 1700, Nathan Comstock and his large 
Aimily, started from his home in Adam.s accompanied by Nathan 
Aldrich and Isaac Hathawny, and w^ere f jllowed the day after by 
Nathan Herendeen, his son "Wiiliam, and his two sons-in-law, Josh- 
ua Herrinrrton and John M'Cumber. The last party overtook the 
first at Geneva, when the \\lioIr' penetrated the wilderness, making 
their own roads as they proceeded, the greater part of the distance, 
and arrived at their new homes in the wilderness, on the 15th of 
March. After leaving Whitestown, both parties, their women and 
children, camped out each night during their tedious journey, and 
arriving at their destination, had most of them to erect temporary 
habitations, and this at an inclement season. 

The following are the names of all who were residents of the 
new township in 1790 : — Nathan Comstock, Nathan Comstock, jr., 
Otis Comstock, Darius Comstock, John Comstock, Israel Reed,' 
John Russell, John Payne, Isaac Hathaway, Nathan Herendeen,' AND aoRnAM's pdrotase. 219 

Welcome IlerenJecn, Joshua Ilerringlon, John JfCaml-cr Nalhan 
Adnoh, J"cobS„,,^l, Job II„„,a>Kl, Abrahnn, Ln,.ham. J I,„ t^ 

Wiic! Tir li"! '"' '"'"'''"'"'■'■'"='•• J™"'!'"" Smith. Pardon 
Wilcox. liobcrl Ilathavvny, Jeremiah Smilh. But a part of all 
hese ,ha, were n,arricd had brought in their families, and Is „ 

them were um)arried. 

Pa don Wdcox. and Levi Sn.i.h; ,0 the last of whom ,he author 

s nuleh.ed for many of his Pioneer reminiscences of Farmi„,,o„ 

Joshua Hercndeen died last winter, a. the advanced age of over 

Many of these early Pioneers were Friends, either by member- 

that an, of ts members contemplating any i.nportant enternrise 

■e rXh '/""' °':r'S™'-' "-' -Ion their intentir. ' 
thetr meeting for eons.deralion and advisement. The rash enter- 
pnse of away off to the Genesee countrv. and seltli,' down 
am„n,g savages and wild beasts, was not consistent with °k nZ 
regard entertamed by the meeting for the Farmington e, g ", "^ 

onsent was refused, and they were formally disowned, vlh n a 
connn,,, f ,h„ Friend's Yearly Meeting of Philadelphia, attend^ 
Frie'ds! pT'°-" T" '' ^""--J-g- ■'" "0«. they visited the 

moetmg that had disowned them in Massachusetts, which resulted 
n he,r restoratton. A meeting was soon after cganized, tl e iL, 

e ,t a '""».''",""'• "-« ■"% o"" west of Utiea. The society 
etected a mee ,ng house in 1804. Their ea,ly local public Friend 

wT He died last year at an advanced age. 

Wheat was harvested in the summer of 1700, the product of 

: : ;;r 7'" '' ''" ^""^'"^"^ "•" ^'""- A'd,.ich,'i„ V 

PC. .ous. Some sun.mer crops were raised in the summer of '00 

lie .stump mortai- w-as the principal dependence for pteparing 

lieii-gi-am for b,ea.l. I„ the fall of 1700, iosliua Ilcicnd™, ,"i"h 

Mills in Bristol ; arriving late on Saturday night, the n,iller' wife 

s:r^.if'a,;'F' '""'■ ■■"" "-'"-« >i-^" ^HouM 'i'rrLrf 

f«iii.aj, ,1 all iarmmgton starved." This ,„adc liin, a second 

»1 > 


rinars akd ooniiAM's runciTASE. 

journey, and it was a work of d 

lys, as the first had boon. Duri 

the same season, Welcome Ilerendcen. John M'Cumber and J 
than Smith, took grain up the Canand 



Wilder's Mill. They got hut 
in the season, a part of (I 

aigua outlet and Lake to 

a part of it grouiid, and it being late 

icir grist lay over until the next season. 

man of Nathan Aldrich and 

Levi Smith, in 1791, then a hired .......... 

Abrahan, Lapba.n, carried grists upon two horses toVhe'FrienL 
Mill, in Jerusalam, 

As an example of the dilTiculties and hardships that attended 
emigration at that early period, it may be mentioned that in 17!)I, 
Jacob Smith, wi'h his family, was thirty one davs in makinn- the 
journey (rom Adams, Mass., to Farmington. I'utling famil/and 
household lurniture on ^oard of a boat at Schcneetadv. and driving 
h.s stock through the woods, along tl« creeks, rivers, Imd lakes, the 
^vllole arrived at Swift's Landing, beyod which he had lo make 
hjs road principally, as there had been little intercourse in that 
direction, from the settlement in Farmington. 

Nathan Ilerendecn himself wintered iiuhe new settlement, hi.^ son 
Welcome returning to bring out the family, who came in February, 
01 ; and about the same time other considerable additions were 
made to the settlemenl, consisting of the families of those who had 
come in the year before, and new adventurers. Brice, and Turner 
Aldrich and their families William Ca.Iy, Uriel Smith, Benjamin 
Lapham, were among the number. A considerable nun d)er of 
them came in company, witli ox and horse teams, were twenty-one 
days on the route, the whole camping in the woods eight nights on 
the way. 

The young reader, and others who may be unacquainted with 
Pioneer life, in passing through that now region of wealth and 
prosperity, will h^ sur])rised to be told that the i'ounders of many of 
those farm establishments — clusters of neat farm buildings, "sur- 
rounded by flocks and herds, and broad cultivated fields — iV their 
primitive advent, plodded through snow and mud days and \v-eeks, 
with stinted means; at night, with their families of young children,' 
clearing away u.e snow and s[)readiiig their cots upon the ground J 
their slumbers often interrupted by the howl of the caunt wolf 
prowling around their camp-fires. Unless in that localitv, liom the 
peculiar character of its inhabitants, better ideas of rigin physical 
education prevails than is nsnn!. ihom f..-,. ,\--,„c.Ui..,-., ;.. .V . > > 

c arc daughters in those abod 


of comfort and luxury who shrink even from the henhhful breeze 
w have prepared the frugal rrnal l,y the winter 
camp-hre, and kept ntu-sery vigils where the drivin/storm pelted 
her and her household through their frail covering. EJwt 
phy.s.eal degeneracy, the work of but one and tw^o gen La ion 
mar ed n. the sons. There are those in the Genesee eountr who 
would deem ,t a hardship to black their own boots, harness their 
own hor.e, or make their own fires, whose fathers and grand-fathers 
have earned provisions to their families upon their backs throurrh 
long dreary winter woods paths. Sincere.'v is it to be hoped ih^t 
mental degeneracy is not keeping pace with all this, as some ob- 
servers and theorists maintain. 

But we are losing sight of the germ of what became a prosperous 
settlement The new comers were soon in their log cabins, dotted 
down m the forest, and making openings about them to let in tho 
sun. i\afhan Comstock was regarded as surveyor general of roads. 
Mounted upon his old mare, he would strike off into the woods in 
oiilercnt dn-ecl.ons where roads were needed, followed by axe-men 
and a teamster with oxen and sled. The underl)rush would be cut, 
logs cut and turned out of the way. and thus the beginning of a 
road was n,ade to be followed up gradually, by widening out"o two 
and lour rods, and bridging of streams, sloughs and marshes. As an 
evidence that they commenced in earnest to subdue the wilderness 
It may be mentioned that there were ccnsiderable fields of wheat 
sow-n ,n the fail of 1790. Nathan Aldrich having raisvl .ome 
se.d wheat m that season. Welcome Herendeen worked for him 
thirteen days for two and a half bushels, sowed it, and he used to 
tell the story when he became the owner of broad wheat field, 
remarkmg that he never had to buy any after that. The first set- 
tlers of larmmgton, bringing with them apple seeds, and peach 
a.u plum Pits, were early fruit growers _ soon had bearing 
orchards- and for long years, the new settlers in far off nei<d,bor! 
hoods, went there for apples, and a real hixurv they were in^imi- 
tive tunes. larmington and Bloomficld cider, apples, and apple 
sauce, was ari especial treat for many years in the backwoods of 
the Holland Purchase. Some enterprising keeper of a log tavern 
would push out when sleighing came, and bring in a load. His re- 
*"■•" would be heralded over a 


w ox sieds and iiorse sleigh ride, th 

Je district ; and the 

n woult 

J fol- 

rough wood's roads, rude feasts 



and frolics. The pampered appetites of the present day know 
nolhmg of the zest which attended these simple luxuries then. 

J he fu-st marriage in Farmington, was that of Otis Comstock to 
lluldah Freeman, at the house of Isaac Hathaway, in 1792, Dr. 
Atvvater, of Canandaigua, officiating. The first birth, was that of 
Welcome llerendeen, m 1790, a son of Joshua Ilerendeen, who now 
resides m Michigan. As a specimen of this first production it 
may be mentioned that his weight is now said to be 350 pounds. 
1 he first death of an adult, was that of Elijah Smith, in 1793. 

1 he first frame building was erected by Joseph Smith and James 
U iMsh of Canandaigua, for an ashery, on the farm of Welcome 
Herendeen. The first framed barn was built by Annanias McMil- 
Ian for Isaac Hathaway, in 1703; and the same year, McMillan 
bu It a small framed grist mill on Ganargwa Creek, within the town- 
ship, for Jacob and Joseph Smith. Settlers have been known to 

1 he fns saw mill was built by Jacob and Joseph Smith, in 1795 
I he first physician in Farmington. was Dr. Stephen Aldridge. from 
Uxbridge Mass. He died about fifteen years since, alter a long 
and useful career, both in his profession and as a citizen 

Almost the whole town of Farmington was settled by emi-rrants 
from Adams, in that same county of Berkshire that has been so 
prolific a hive, sending out its swarms not only here, but to all our 
western States and territories. The local historian here and at 
the west has olten to query with himself as to whether there could 
be any body left in Berkshire ? It would seem tnat when new 
lelds of enterprise were opened, new regions were to be subdued 
to the uses of civilization, legions went out from its mountains, hills 
rnd valleys -not "of armed men "-but of the best of materials 
^r the work that lay before them. Berkshire - a single county of 
New England -It may almost be said, has been the mother of em- 

In the iiistory of a wide region of unparalelled success and pros- 
perity, no where has it been so uniibrm as in the town of Farming. 

and nf n T'"" 'T ''°" ^"■"^'^^ •^"^ ^y '^'' «'-'S'"^^l proprietors, 
and of all the purchasers, but one failed to be a permanent citizen 

and pay fur his land. The wholesome discipline and example of 

the .Society of Friends preserved it liom the eflects of an early 

proluse use of spirituous liquors, so destructive to early prosperity 

PiiELi's AND oorham's purchask. 223 

Icqrirecl '' ^""' ^'" '""^ ^'^^ P'-e-eminencc that it h.. 

The first town meeting of the " District of Fur.nln^ton " was held 
at the house ofNathan Aldrich, in 1707; meotin, ^^00 ne, S 
sup.r,ntendea by Phineos Bates, Esq., when .Tared Co.nsrc Z. 
chosen Supervisor, and Isaae Hathaway town clerk. Otho town 
offieers:- Joseph Snu.h. Nathan Ilerendcen, Jonathan SniT 
O s Cc..stock Asa Wihnarth, John M'Lou.h. Isaac II. thaway 

Kte s, .Tob Howland, Welcome Ilerendeen, Turner Aldnch Gid- 
eon Payne, .Toshua Van Fleet, Jacob Smith 

in^Lr^Fm thafSlObep..idfor the scalp of each wolf killed 
Town Tl ^ '""' ™''^ to defr..y the expenses of the 

lown. The meeting W..S adjourned to beheld next year at the 
house of Nathan Ilerendeen. 


John Decker Robmson, from Claverack. Columbia co., and 
Nathaniel Sanborn, were among those who came to the Genesee 
country about the time of the Phelps and Gorhan. treatv Mr San! 
born was employed by Mr. Phelps to take charge ^f a drove of 
cattle that he mtended for beef, to distribute among the Indians a 

have Ho.,t h.,t,.r .MiUeria^ to tS Si ^ ""l' Z^ 7;, ^^^ England could hardly 
••Hclul. At the period .,f omi-n' a o, ? ,? ,',1 ' f ^ ^ ^'l"' '^""''' '"^^'^ P'"v»-'d more 
had .ix sons : F). in!. I , ' ' '• ,' ,/'^i^, '"""^''- ■''."'.' ralroon of uow settlement. 

iet at Cup;^ .- 3i;r£:^;S .^Jlf" -'1 j£ ^„U,a„ .. the Piol 

was construclod. Jose^,, J red nd Ih i we 1 t .'^ ""'''''^ ^'"T ^"^'''"^ '^'^ '^'^"^ 
ted, and iK.raiiie tlic Dror rietn -^ r.f' , 1 . '^ """"^ »•'* ''»« C'l""! wa.s loca- 

Town, u.ul tl,eT..avn.K' h c-ri. f^'".!'^'?"':" "* f''^«ite of the present Upper 

«..uplerc:d l.eean,e a Pioneer nJar ! ^nr ' , >7 and .00., alter the canal was 

the site of the vilia-re of A, 1, ■,,,,-. I"^' "V ' '"■'«(' <d Adijnn Miehi-rnn. A part of 
stock, was a pronl ::::;f .^^ ^ ^ :^;;i;;;!:, ^ l^-''-^. -'"-I. if. -n. Addi.o„ ^S.ul 
.'oseph, in Lock-pert, in IH'' \ ,1 - /j Vf,. ,/ ^^1'';:;^^^^ 18IG ; 

i^an, in 1814 a.^l '5 ; ancfilis 1, F , ; ::^: ';tl;:^i^'^'^it■'-:• •'•'^' 1^^'"- i" Mich: 
^ylu. xvns an earlv law student in Cairind W • ,) , • ' ''^' ™'"^i™'- " John, 

ria.., Michi-an. The .ie.scenlantV . i? ' ' "'^.'•f' di'« 4'on a farn. near Ad- 
tlioir residences bein^ urn n^' v in M i 1! /"; "ri^ '^'^T' '"'' ^*^V' """'«'•«"«. 
P-nin„on, is ada,^ 1/ '& Tl^ lif y|;,.„ ^li s! l^l^lAn,/^" ^'"^'^ "^ 
Vriia a tl;u:giitt;rol Joseph. -n-^-ci ^nt.i, ot Uuiuu Spnngs, 



the treaty. As soon ns land sales commr^nccd, Mr. Kobinson Ijought 
lot No. 14, T. 1], R. 1, (Phelps) on the Canandaigua outlet, in pay- 
ment for which he erected for Phdps and Gurhatn, (partly of logs 
and partly Ihuned,) the building that was used as the primitive land 
office, and lor the residence of the agent of Mr. Walker. In the 
spring of 1789, he put his family and goods on board a battcaux at 
Schenectady and landed them at their new home in the then wilder- 
ness. Raising a cloth tent they brought with them, the family 
were sheltered under that until a log cabin was erected. Nine days 
after their arrival, they were joined by Pierce and Elihu Granger, 
Nathaniel Sanhorn and his brother-in-law, Gould, who remain- 
ed with them a few months, cleared a few acres on an adjoining lot, 
built shantees, and returned to Suiricld in the flill, leaving' the Rob^ 
inson family to spend the winter eight miles from their nearest 
neighbor. Mr. Robinson opened a public house as soon as '93, or 4. 
His location was East Vienna; embracing some valuable mill'seats 
on iMint creek and Canandaigua outlet. He was one of the most 
enterprising of the early Pioneers. His son Harry was the first 
male child born in Phelps; another son, Henry, H. resides in 

Following the lead of Robinson and the Grangers, in 1791, were, 
Thaddeus Oaks, Seth Dean, Oliver and Charles Humphrey, and 
Elias Dickinson. 

Jonathan Oaks was the primitive landlord, erecting as early as 
'94 the large framed tavern house, at Oak's Corners, about the same 
time that Mr. Williamson erected his Hotel at Geneva. It was a 
wonder in early days ; peering up in a region of log houses, it had 
an aristocratic look, and its enterprising founder was regarded as 
pushing things far beyond their time. ^It was the secon'd framed 
tavern house west of Geneva, and when built, there was probably 
not half a dozen framed buildings of any kind, west of that locality. 
It was the house of the early explorers and emigrants, and its fame 
oxtended throughout New England. It is yet standing and occu- 
pied as a tavern in a pretty good state of preservation. Mr. Oaks 
died in 1-804, leaving as his successor his son Thaddeus, who had 
married a grand-daughter of Elias Dickinson. The father dying 
at so early a period, the name of Thaddeus Oaks is principally 
blended in the reminiscences of the later Pioneer period. He died 
in 1824 at the age of 50 years; an only surviving son, Nathan 

?on I)ought 
l(!t, in pay. 
lly of logs 
litivc land 
r. In the 
attcaux at 
en vvilder- 
lio family 
Nine days 
I Granger, 
10 remain- 
oining lot, 
r the Rob- 
r nearest 
s '93, or 4. 
mill seats 
'the most 
3 the first 
•esides in 

'91, were, 
irey, and 

s early as 
the same 
It was a 
es, it had 
rarded as 
d framed 
. locality, 
its fame 
nd occu- 
ilr. Oaks 
who had 
er dying 
He died 


Oakf!, a worthy representative of his Pioneer ancestors, inherits the 
fine estate, thn fruit of h's grand-father and father's early enterprise. 
He is the P. M. at Oaks' Corners ; his wife, the daughter of Truman 
Heminvvay Esq., of Palmyra ; a sister, is the wife of Leman llotch- 
kiss, Esq. of Vienna. 

As early as ISIO, the lessees ..f the Oaks' stand, were Joel and 
Levi Thayer, now of Buffalo. About th=s period, the long celebra- 
ted Race Course, was established ujjon the broad sweep^ of level 
ground, upon the Oaks farm, which passengers may observe from 
the cars, in the rear of the church. For years, it was a famous 
gathering place for .sportsmen, and amateur sportsmen ; race horses 
came to it from the south, and from Long Island and New Jersey. 
The annual gatherings there, were to western New York, in a 
measure, what the State Fairs now ai- to the whole State. 

Philetus Swift, a brother of John Swift, of Palmyra, was in 
Phelps as early as '91. He was an early representative of Ontario, 
in Assembly and Senate ; in anticipation of the war of 1818, hold- 
ing the rank of Col, he was ordered, with a regiment of volunteers, 
to march to the Niagara Frontier, and was with his regiment at 
Black Rock, when war was declared. He died in 1820. He left 
no sons ; an only daughter by a second marriage, is wife of Alexis 
Russel, of Webster, Monroe co. 

Seth Dean, was the Pioneer upon the site of the present villat^e 
of Vienna, building a primitive grist and saw mill, upon Fiint creek. 
His mill was raised by himself and l:is son Isaac ; they being unable 
to procure any help. The Pioneer died in early years; liis son 
Isaac resides in Adrian, Michigan, is the father-in-law of Addison 
J. Comstock, one of the founders of the village of Adrian. Mrs. 
Wells Whitmore, of Vienna, is a daughter of Seth Dean. Walter 
Dean, a brother of Seth, came in at a later period. He was the 
father of L. Q. C. Dean. A daughter of his married Dr. Isaac 
Smith, of Lockport, deceased, and is now the wile of David Thomas, 
of Cayuga. 

The first merchant in Phelps, was John R. Green, an En-llsh 

lrv^"m)~d^'''' .^' i"' '^ '^P^ ^r"«''' P»t <^^ fi'-«t clioesofo pro.s.s in the Concsce coun- 
try ; arid "Ihcrchy li;iii','S!it;ilo" — or, a hour .story. It was in ciio of tho „I, If.ti • V 
out ,loor proHsos ; a boar cune at night, and entirely devoured t ^ hi^t^^ifa; ,1 Mi- 
empty chc'csoourl), boro wiiiesa '""'•-'^ ", «ia nia tratks, and tlio 




man, located at Oaks' Corner,.. Leman llolditiss and David Mc- 
Ne,l, were the first «,erci,a„ts in Vienna ; a firm of muci, enterprise for a long period, the trade of a wide region. Ho h.' 
.ss was the brother of the late Judge Hotchkiss^f Lew^ten 
He d,ed ,n 1822. His widow is now Mrs, Joel Stearns, of Vient' 
H,ram, of Lvor^ and Leraan B. of Vienna, are his son.,, MoNei 
wa t e first ',M, ,„ Phe|,„ appointed in ISOI, he held the offic 
re'-lntott:!'"'- ''''-' "■"^'-- "-vidow survives, a 
l>r. Joel I'reseott, was the early physieian. He was an early 
surerv.„r of the town, and fbr several ears chairman of Z board 
of superv,sors ,>l Ontario. He died during the war of ISl- a 
son of ,s, Imly Preseott, recently died in Geneva; Z d te s'be 
came „e w.ves of Owen Edmons.on, of Vienna, a^d Jame Da . 
row, ot feeneca county. 

Elder Solomon Goodale, was the first resident minister in Phelps • 

was at Uaks Corners Prp« ivtori-.K. ti n- • ,• 

uxuLi!, iieso}teiian — the ster the 

se Lorrnve'^r""" '^'!"''™"^ """ ^''" ^'^^'^-- ^^ 
settled over a Weld, congregation in Ohio ; a grand-dau-diler, Jane 

Reese, was a poe,es.s whose early effusions appeared ind,e I'a my 

«est Of Seneca Lake, that of East Bloon.f.eld the first ]t wa, 

01 Col. Co t who proone,! ,™bseripti„ns, and rented pews the of winch, more than paid for i,s con.pletion, Thad Zoab 

locati™ "'" '""■"'"• ™''='"«i"ally co„,pe,i,„rs for the 

Pioneer''!'™ 't "T '" " ""'^' »' '"' ' """^ '"=»- ""■ "-" -""^t 

;5f ^. ■t^:;e"z.rJJ;,;l:™:Ii~ 
e was a large landholder. After accun, 1, i g" ^t f: 't 

; r:'po ^^u "fr''-'' "-^ """"■>• ™^»-'"'". "" as 

ycdis, upon a llevolutionary nop.^inn If. j:.,! i,,,. ,• 

J 1 -. !j^ (j,cu L'ut u lew years 

David Mc- 
h enterprise, 
)n. Hotch- 
f Lewiston. 

of Vienna. 
s. McNeil 
Id the ulfice 

survives, a 

IS an early 
)f the board 
af 1812; a 
ugliters be- 
anies Dar- 

• in Phelps ; 
2ed church 
inister, the 
'cs, and is 
;hter, Jane 
he Palmy. 
ey Durfee, 
icond built 
t. It was 
m became 
I in charge 
pews, the 
leus Oaks 
vas finish- 
Ts for the 

than most 
;novvn as 
ry enter- 

It, where 
'State, he 
his lasts 
-'vv years 


since, at an advanced age.* His son, Jonathan Melvin, now resides 
upon the old homestead. 

Wells Wlntmore came in with Jonathan Oaks ; married a daucrh- 

S' . '•',"'"'' '''' '"" ^"'"'^' '''''^'' ''^ <^^'°''gi«. an J Mrs. 
JN'orton, oi Vienna, is a daughter. 

John and Patrick Burnett, brothers, came in 1795; Patrick left 
m a lew years; John became a prominent citizen. He held a 
Captam s com.nission in the Revolution. Wm. Burnett, his son 
was an early supervisor, magistrate, and attained t'le rank of Brier' 
Oen. of mihtia. He was in service on the Niagara frontier in 1813 
and commanded the volunteer force, called out to repel the British 
mvaders at Sodus. He died in 1826; William Burnett, of Ann 
Arbor, is his son ; I\Irs. Benjamin Hartwell, and Mrs. Bainbridge of 
1 helps, are his daughters. 

Cornelius Westfall came in '95; purchased 500 acres of land ; 
died in 1832. His only son, Jacab, a Captain of a company of 
riflemen, was killed in Queenston battle. 

Elijah Gates, came in '95 ; died in 1835 : his sons Seth and Dan- 
iel, reside at the old homestead. 

Oliver Humphrey, one of the earliest, died in 1838; was a Major 
of Mihtia. His son Hugh Humphrey, lives at the old homestead. 
1-1 IS brother Charles, who came in with him, died a few years since ; 
his son John, resides upon the homestead. 

Lodowick Vanderniark, came in '94; erected one of the earliest 
saw mills on the outlet. He died just previous to the war of 1812 • 
1- and William, of Phelps, are his sons. His brother Joseph.' 
who came in with him, died in 181(5. 

Deacon Jessee Warner, one of the earliest, located on site of 
v.lnge of Orleans; was one of the founders of the churches at 
Orleans and Melvin Hill. He died in 1835 ; John Warner of Or- 
leans, is his son. 

Solomon Warner was in Geneva as early as '88. He located 
near, a;.d afterwards became the purchaser of a part of the Old 
('astle tract, which he sold to Jonathan Whitnev. His wife was a 
daughter of Jonathan Oaks. He died in .1813; two of his sons 
re side in Michigan, a nd two at the homestead; daughters became 

» In pnssin^nl.o 01,1 Oastlo, in an early -lay, l.o jnrke.l m.T.^am loTinrwns h,^l^ 
now Hla..dina along tharoaJ, oa ias'dd iar:^:' "" " ^°"^ '' ''^ *""' ' "" ''^'^ '''' 



the wives of Cephns ShekclLs, Alfred Hooker. William Jones. Rev. 

Znl' Tu "•,'"" !^"'^"'' ""''" ''' y^''' '^^ =^Se, resides in the 
hous. Ins father btnlt in '89, and in winch he was forn 

Col Ehas Dickinson, on.s of the original purchasers of Phelps, was 
from Conway. Mass. II3 died in 1804, or '5. His son. Cdton, 
was killed m raising the church at Oaks' Corners, in 1804 ; Samuel 
Dickinson, die eminent printer and publisher, of Boston, was a son 
of Colton Dickinson; he was an apprentice of Elias Hull of Ge- 
neva. Another son of the old Pioneer, was the founder of the 
large mills of Vienna. He died in early years 

Col. Elms Cost wns a native of Frederick co., Maryland, a son 
of Jacob Cost; a sister of his, was the mother of Wm: Cost John- 

Shekel, and Abraham Simmons, he came to the Genesee country 
The party travelled on horseback, coming i„ via Mr. Williamson^s 
Nonhumberland Road; upon 40 miles of which, there was. then 
but one house; stopped at the Geneva Hotel, and continued on 

lacTw h7? ' ''. ?"'"' o'"" ''">'^^""^ Mr.' Williamson, 
lef ttrhn ; o """ ^^"" '''' >'^'^"S adventurers had 

left their horses at Oa.. tavern, and arriving at the outlet, at Ly- 
ons, were ferried over upon the back of a stout backwoodsman, by 
^ name of Hunn. Shekels and Simmons, bought land at the Sul 
phur Springs. The party returned to Maryland. The next season 
Col Cost came out and purchased land near Oaks' Corners, where 
he has resided for half a century. He is now 72 years o^ a^e 
may almost be said to be robust in health; his mind retaining^its 
his native ^'•■'!''^''>' ' .'^---'■"^ the fine social qualities, peculiai- to 
his na ive region. His first wife was the daughter of Capt. Shekells 
After her death he married the widow of Thaddeus Oaks and was 
t e an lord of the Oaks' stand for fourteen yea:s. His darle." 
he fruits of his first marriage, became the wives of Thomas^John-' 
son of Maryland, and Lynham J. Reddoe. a son of John Beddoe, 
Of Yates CO. An unmmarried daughter whose mother was Mrs 
Oaks supplies the place of her mot' e , (who died recentiv,) in 1 1^ 
hspitabe mansion. Col. Cost was upon the frontier in tl. wlr of 

of As "1 ^'r^'';-:''\^' ."^« -'•'i- of Fort Erie ; was a member 
ot Assembly from Ontario, in 1840. 

.>'oiK._C,,,, .li,.,} i„ Ai;rii hst^^MUt^u^ wurk was in inv,,. 



Jones, Rev. 
esides in the 

Phelps, was 
son, Colton, 
}4 ; Samuel 
I, was a son 
Hull of Ge- 
ader of the 

'land, a son 
Cost John- 
h Benjamin 
ee country, 
3 was. then 
ntinued on 
nturers had 
tlet, at Ly- 
xisman, by 
at the Sul- 
lext season 
lers, where 
irs of a<re • 
staining its 
peculiar to 
. Shekells. 
s, and was 
mas John- 
n Beddoe, 
was Mrs. 
lly,) in his 
he war of 
1 member 

Benjamin ShaksU, who33 advent is mentioned in connection with 
Col. Cost, died m 1818. His son Richard resides in Hopewell ; a 
daughter, is Mrs. Ste[;Iicns of Hopewell. Samuel Shekell came in 
1803 ; died in 18'i3 : his son Thomas in 1894, and opened a store 
at Clifton Spring-; ; returning to Maryland in a few years ; another 
son, Jacob M., resides near Ann Arbor, Michigan ; another, John, in 
Waterloo ; another, Cophus, in Milwaukee. His daughters became 
the wives of Col. Elias Cost, Major \Vm. Howe Cuyler, Alexander 
Howard, and Andrew Dorsey, of Lyons. The Shekells were trom 
Bladensburg, Maryland. 

William Hildreth was an early merchant and distiller ; was a 
Supervisor of the town, and a member of the legislature. He 
creeled mills on Flint Creek, was a large farmer, and in all, a man 
of extraordinary enterprise, carrying on for many years an exten- 
sive business. He died in 1838; his widow survives. His sons, 
William and Spencer, reside in Vienna. 

Eleazor, Cephas and Joseph Hawks, were early settlers in Vienna. 
Cephas Hawks, just previous to the war, erected a large woolen 
factory at Whitj Sprin s, on the Nicholas (now Mrs. Loe's) f\irm, 
near Geneva ; bought the fine wool of the Wadsworths ; sold cloth 
at from 85 to $12 per yard ; made money rapidly ; but low prices 
ond consequent failure succeeded at'ler the war. He emigrated to 
Michigan. Benjamin F. H iwks, of Vienna, is a son of Eleazor. 

Luiher Root was the first clothier in Phelps ; he died 25 years 
since ; his widow and sons are residenis of ViiMuia. 

The town of Phelps was first the "J'istrict of Sullivan;" the 
first tov/n meeting was held at the house of Jonathan Oaks, in 1796. 
Jonathan Oaks was cho.sen Supervisor, Solomon Goodale, Town 
Clerk. Other town ofTiccrs : — Joel Prescott, Philetus Swift, Pierce 
Granger, Cornelius Westfall, Abraham F. Spurr, Chas. Humphrey, 
Elijah Gates, Augustus Dickinson, John Patton, Wells Whitmore, 
Jonathan Melvin, Oliver Humphrey, Patrick Burnett, Jesrse Warner, 
Oliver Humphrey, Phil(>!us Swift, Augustus Dickinson, Joel Prescott, 
Oliver Humphrey, Solomon Goodale. 

A "gratuity of four pounds" was voted for "every wolf's head 
that shall be killed in this district by an inhabitant thereof." 

At a court of special sessions of Ontario county, in June, 17CG, 
name was changed to ''Dist.ict of Phelps." 

In February, 1797, u special town meeting was called "for the 



purpose Of establishing some regulations in roforencc to schools." 
After the town had assu.ned his name, Mr. Phelps save an enter- 
a.n.ent at Oal.-Wn, and a jovial time tL b'ackwLsmen 
had of It, as but few of them live to recollect. 


While the Pioneer events we have been recordinjr, were jroincr 
on m other localities, the little village of Kanadesaga, at the foot ,3? 
beneca Lake, had been going a head under the auspices of Reed 
and Ryckman and the Lessees. In the compromise with Phelps 
and Gorham, the Lessees had come in possession of townships 6, 7, 
and 8 m the 1st Range, and 9 in the 2d. These townships were 
deeded to the Lessees under tlie name of the "New York Com- 
pany ;" and a fifth township (No. 9 in the 1st.) was deeded to 
Benton and Livingsto.." * " In the fall of 1788," savs a manu- 
script m the author's possession, "number 8 was divided into lots 
and balloted lor at Geneva; Benjamin Barton, sen., at that time 
being agent for the Niagara (or Canada) Company, drew the num- 
ber of lots assigned to them ; and Messrs. Benton and Birdsall 
being present, drew for themselves and associates " f 

In the fall of 1788, about the time that the Pioneer movements 
were making at Canandaigua, Geneva had become a pretty brisk 
p ace ; the focus of speculators, explorers, the Less(>e Company and 
their agents ; and the principal seat of thelnxlian trade tor a wide 
region. Horatio Jones was living in a log house covered with 
bark, on the bank of the Lake, an.l had a small stock of goods for 
the Indian trade; Asa Ransom (the afterwards Pioneer at Buffalo 

* Bui. the four townships were included in tJ.e coinproniiso Benton ^ind T i in^^f 
were nroinmont union" tlip L("W'>i^ • iml ..^ti,,..- ., . '.,',• ',',"^"" -i"" Unng^toii 

ti» iHt, „t ii„s„; v-rf,-'„;„i rl:!. ';::;IJ; ..'':!.,;'"'"'.'■"■'•■'■.'■ ™j h ■••t 

: o.k iuid Canada joint Lc-sce Coinpanic.i 


to schools." 
/a an enter- 

were going 
the foot (>f 
i'.i of Reed 
vith Phelps 
nships 6, 7, 
ships were 
fork Corn- 
deeded to 
.'s a manu- 
d into lots, 
that time 
' the nuin- 
1 Birdsall, 

rettj brisk 
ipany and 
'or a wide 
ired with 
goods for 
at Buffalo 

1 Living-itoii 

lip hy j;iir- 
ig the coiiv 

IP, witli tlu> 
I! lots tlicv 
t,V thcrcoC." 
I'l.'iiijiM was 
I Iho Liiko 
"t," wliich 
B iiiiniu of 
Eind liy all 


and Ransom's Grove,) occupied a hut, and was manufacturing 
Indian trinkets; Lark Jennings had a log tavern on the baidv of 
the Lake ; the Lessee Company had a framed tavern and trading 
establishment, covered with bark, on the Lake shore, "near where 
the bluff approaches the Lake," winch was occupied by Dr. Ben- 
ton. There was a cluster of log houses all along on the low grounrl 
aear the Lake shore. The geographical designations wer°e '• hill 
md bottom." Peter Ryckman and Peter Bortle were residing 
there, and several others whose names are not recollected. Cot 
Seth Reed was residing at the Old Castle. Dominick Debartzch, 
an Indian trader from Montreal, was rather the great man of the! 
country. His ])rincipal seat was the Cashong farm, which he 
claimed as an Indian grant, and where he had a trading establish- 
ment ; though his trade extended to the western Indians, among 
whom he went after selling his claim to the Cashong iarm to the 
late Major Bsnj. Barton, of Lewiston.* 

The Lessees were then strenuously claiming all of the lands of 
the six nations up to the old pre-emption line.' A letter from one 
of the company at Geneva, to one of the Canada associates, dated 
m Nov. '88, speaks confidently of a compromise with the State, " by 
which we shall be enabled to hold a part, if not the whole of "the lands 
contained in our lease." To further this object, it is prop.,sed that 
the Canada miluence shall bo brought to bear upon the Indians ; and a strong delegation of the chiefs shall be at Albany whe'n the 
legislature meets, and "retnonstrate openly to the sovereignty of the 
State, against the late proceedings at Fort Stanwix, and d'emand the 
restitution of their lands."t In April and M^iv, 1789, the New 
York company held out to their Canada associates, the strongest 
assurances of being enabled with their assistance, to induce the'ln- 
Jians to abide by the Lease, instead of their cessions to the State • 
hut in the fall of that year, they began to be disposed to take what- 
ever they could get. In September, one of the auditors of the " New 

John FI. Jom- y hu.«.,l tlie conf.rn.ahon of lliis ],a,-ai.<. Mi>jor Barton, in part 
pavwiont, pulled .,11 Ins ovorcnnt, un.l ^-.-.v,. it to l),.I,iu-tzdi. It Jian heretofore beoi 
SMd hat In,, pureluwewiis iniule of Pondry. ^fr. Jones correefs this, and savs Ih-it 
ondry at the tune was a servant of,^ioually a:s,ssi:sting liinfiu the 
Indian trade. Botli gloried m native wive.?. 

tin llio inoiith of Septend)er preeeding, tlio Ononda-aH had, at a treaty at Fort 
btiinwix,eeded their lauds to the Slate; and in the aaiue month, tho Ou-'l^Jas i<ad 
ceuod tiieira 




York Genesee Compiny," writing to tiie " Niagara Gancsee Com- 
pany," says :— " Our business has fallen much short of our first idea;" 
and after -.yA ing their concurrence in a proposed compromise with 
the State, the letter closes with, " I am, with due respect, but like 
the rest of the company at this time, somewhat dejected, your very 
humble servant." 

All that w;;s done at Geneva previous to the spring of 1793, was 
under the auspices of Reed and Ryckman and the Lessees. The 
little backwoods village th,':t had grown up there, the scattered set- 
tlements in the Lessee towns and upon the Gore, and at Jerusalem, 
constiti'.ted a majority perhaps of all the population west of Seneca 
Lake. " 'i'hc district of Seneca," which, so far as organization was 
concerned, embraced all the region north to Lake Ontario, and the 
Lessee towns, had its first town meeting in April, 1793. It was held 
at the house of Joshua Fairbanks, who still survives, a resident of 
Lewiston. Niagara county. Ezra Patterson was chosen Supervisor, 
Thomas Sisson, Town Clerk. Othor town officers, Oliver Whit- 
more, Jas. llice, Phineas Pierce, Patrick Burnett, Samuel Wheedon, 
Peter Bortio, Jr., Sanfdrd Williams, Jonatlian Oaks, David Smith 
Benjamin Tuttic, Win. Smith, Jr., David Benton, Benj. Di.Kon,' 
Amos Jenks, John Reed, Caleb Culver, Charles Harris, Stephen 
Sisson, W. Whilmore, Joseph Kilbourn, Seba Squires. 

In 1791, Aii.brose Hull was Sup ■s\ isor. Store and tavern licen- 
scs were granted to Graham S. Scott, Thomas Sergeants, Joseph 
Annin, Ilewson & Co. 1795, Timothy Allen was Supervisor, and 
Samuel Colt, Town Clerk ; town meeting was held at the house of 
Ezr.i Patterson, who was chosen Supervisor of the town for several 
successive years. In 1800, the numl'cr of persons assessed to work 
on the highways in the town of Seneca, was 290. 
^Mr. Williamson turned his attention to Geneva, in the spring of 
1793 ; and as will be observed, many of the early reminiscences of 
the locality occur in connection with him. In fact, Geneva is more 
or less mingled with the earliest events of the whole region. It was 
the door or gateway to the Genesee country, and there our race first 
made a stand preliminary to farther advances. 

Herman II. Bogert, conunenced the practice of law in Geneva, 
in 1797, being now the oldest resident member of the profession' 
except Judge Ifowell, in western New York. His father was Isaac 
Bogert, a captain in the Revolution, attached to the ISow York line ' 



ncsce Com- 
r first idea;" 
romise with 
ct, but like 
I, your very 

' 1703, was 
isees. Tile 
atlcred set- 
; of Seneca 
lization was 
•io, aad the 
It was held 
resident of 
liver Whit- 
I Wheedon, 
ivid Smith, 
•nj. Dixon, 
is, Stephen 

ivern licen- 
its, Joseph 
rvisor, and 
e house of 
for several 
ed to work 

! spring of 
5cences of 
va is more 
fi. It was 
r race first 

n Geneva, 
was Isaac 

^ork !i 


was at the siege of Fort Stanwix, and at the close of the war be- 
came a merchant in Albany. The son was preceded in his profes- 
sion at Geneva, only by Henry II. Van Rensselaer, who remained 
but a lew years. 

Mr. Bogei' observes, that at the period he came to Geneva, land 
speculations were at their height ; high prices were the order of the 
day; board was S 1,00 per week at the hotel; and all things were 
going on as swimmingly as in the later years, 183G, '37. Eligible 
building lots of three-fourths of an acre'> sold for 8500 ; farmin.T 
lands in the neighborhood, sold for 85,00 an acre, that afterward" 
brought but $2 and 83,00. .Mr. Williamson had a slocp upon the 
Lake that was engaged in bringing down lumber. The mail was 
brought from Albany once in two weeks upon horseback. Mr. Wil- 
liamson's head quarters were then i)rincipally at the Genera Hotel. 
In addition to his other enterprizes, he was a'ctivelv engaged in the 
construction of the turnpike. 

Mr. Bogert is now 77 years of age ; his wife, the daughter of 
John Witbeck, of Red Hook, who also survives, is 73. Charles A. 
Bogert of Dresden, Yates county, is a son; a daughter became the 
wife of Derick C. Delamater, of Columbia county ^ another, of Her- 
man Ten Eyck, of Albany ; another, of Godfrey J. Grosvcnor, of 

Early lawyers in Geneva, other than Mr. Bogert, Pollydore B 
Wisner, Daniel W. Lewis, Robert W. Stoddard, John Collins, Da- 
vid Hudson. Mr. Wisner was an early District Attorney. He 
died in 1814. He was from Orange county; studied law with 
Richard Varick ; at one period member of the Legislature. Mr. 
Lewis died within a few years in Buffalo, leaving no chikircn. An 
adopted daughter of his was the wife of Stephen K. Grosvenor, and 
IS now the wife of the Rev. Dr. Shelton, of BufTlilo. Mr. Stoddard 
died in 1847. A son of his is a practicing lawver in Brooklyn, and 
another son is an officer of the navy. Mr. Collins is now a prac- 
ticing lawyer in Angelica. Mr. Hudson still survives, and contin- 
ues a^resjdent of Geneva. Mr. Parks is yet a practicing Attorney 

NoTE.-Mr. T!oi,rcrt,aiu.n.g^.thor interesting reininisccnoe.s of early tiiiios, wlii^ 
V-!l7 "'tT ''""^ "' "^•^";«'"'"-'«i""^. «]'«>k. of a niavke.1 evont-a'\l,under! o , ' 

Zo Zir^'P'Tn"*'''^ 'l""'"^ succession, of tiunuler; not nnlike the rc- 

hudtw I'u'aiiek '" ' ''"' ^ '""''' of grandeur and terror, h-a. 




in Geneva. He studied law with Lewis and Collins, and was ad- 
mitted to practice in 1814. In the war of 1812, he was upon the 
frontier, and in the battle of Queenston, in command of a company 
of volunteers. 

The early merchants of Geneva, other than those who were loca- 
ted there under Indian and Lessee occupancy, were : Grieve and 
Moflat, Samuel Colt, Richard M. Williams, Elijah H. Gordon, 
Richard M. Bailey, Abraham Dox. Grieve & Motlatt established 
the first brewery in all this region. Mr. Grieve was in the employ 
of Mr. Williamson, in the earliest years, as it is presumed Mr. Mof- 
fat wa-', as his name occurs in connection with the early move- 
ments at Sodus. Mr. Grieve was out in the war of 1812, a colonel, 
under Gen. McClure. He died in 1835. Mr. Moffat removed to 
Buffalo. Richard M. Williams became a farmer in Middlesex, On- 
ta- io county, (or in Yates county) where he died a few years since ; 
a son of his was lately in the Senate of this State. Mr! Colt was a 
lirothcrof Joseph Colt, the early merchant of Canandaigua, Auburn, 
and Palmyra. lie removed to New York, and on a visit to Ge- 
neva, attending tiie com'mencement at the College, he died suddenly, 
at the Hotel, in 1831. Mr. Baily is still living. He entered the 
regular army in 1812; had a staff appointment, was taken prisoner 
at the battle of Queenston; went to Quebec in company with Gen. 
Scott, where he was parolled. 

Elijah H. Gordon is one of the three or four survivors of all who 
were residents of Geneva previous to 1798 ; is in his 80th year. 
His goods came in early years, from Schenectady, via the usual 
\vater route, costing for transportation, generally about $3 per cwt. 
Barter trade, in furs especially, constituted his principal early busi- 
ness ; potash and ginseng was added after a icw vears. 

Mr. Gordon was a Judge of Ontario county courts in early years ; 
and the second Post Master at Geneva, succeeding Walter Grieves,' 
who was the first. His two sons, John H., and Wm. W. Gordon,' 
reside in Washington, Louisana. 

Dr. Adams was a physician in Geneva in the earliest years of 
settlement. Dr. John Henry and Daniel Goodwin, were the ear- 
liest permanent physicians. Dr. Henry died in 1812. Dr. Good- 
win removed to Detroit, where he died a few years since. Stephen 
A. Goodwin, an attorney at law, in Auburn, is a son of his ; another 
son, Daniel Goodwin, is an attorney in Detroit. 




ind was ad- 
is upon the 
a company 

were loca- 
Grieve and 
[I. Gordon, 
the employ 
d Mr. Mof- 
'arly niove- 
I, a colonel, 
removed to 
Idlesex, On- 
,'ears since ; 

Colt was a 
iH, Auburn, 
visit to Ge- 
d suddenly, 
intered the 
en prisoner 
.' rtith Gen. 

; of all who 
80th year. 
I the usual 
83 per cwt. 
early busi- 

arly years ; 
er Grieves, 
V". Gordon, 

t years of 
re the ear- 
Dr. Good- 
3; another 

A Presbyterian society wa orjranized in Geneva, as early as 
1798. In July of that year, a meeting; was held ; John Fulton and 
Oliver Wliitmore presided ; Oliver Whitmore, Elijah Wilder, Sep- 
timus Evans, Ezra Patterson, Samuel Latta, Wm. Smith, jr., and 
Pollydore B. 'Winner, were chosen trustees. The Rev. Jedediah 
Chapman became the first settled minister, continuing as such, 
until hi3 death in 1813. He was succeeded by the Rev. Henry 
Axtell. The society built a church in 1811. 

In 180G, " nineteen persons of full age, belonging to the Protest- 
ant Episcopal church, assembled, and there being no Rector, John 
Nicholas presided." Trinity church was organized by the election 
of the following officers :— John Nicholas and Daniel W. Lewis, 
Wardens; Samuel Shekel!, John Collins, Robert S. Rose, Richard 
Hughes, Ralph T. Wood, David Nagler, Jas. Reese, Thomas Pow- 
ell, Vestrymen. 

The Rev. Davenport Phelps was the first officiating clergyman ; 
was succeeded by the Rev. Orrin Clark, who officiated for many 
years. He died in 1828. The society erected a church in 1809, 
which was removed, and its site occupied by the present Trinity 
Church, in 1845. 

Baptist and Methodist societies were organized, and churches 
erected, soon alter the war of 1812, but the author has no farther 
record or information concerning them. 

Among the earliest mechanics at Geneva, were : Wm. Tappan, 
John and Abraham B. Hall, John Sweeny, Elisha Douner, Moses 
Hall, W. W. Watson, John Woods,* Lucius Gary, Jonathan Doane,t 
Foster Barnard, Richard Lazalere, Jacob and Joseph Backenstose.'j 

John Nicholas, emigrated from Virginia, and settled at Geneva 
m 1804. He was a lawyer by profession, but had retired from 
practice. He was for several terms, a member of the State Senate, 
and a Judge of the courts of Ontario. He engaged extensively in 

* Mr. Wood, was also an eai'Iy landlord. 

t He erected the primative cliurclies ; was the father of Bishop Dcano of Xew Jer- 
sey, who received his primary education in Oenevii. 

t Thev were brothers, came to Geneva in tlio earliest years. Thev were the pioneer 
tailors of the Genesee country. Time was, when to wear a coatlVoiu (heir press board 
marked the wearer as an aristocrat. Men going to Ct)ngreHs, or the Legislature (jen- 
cnilly got it coat liom a "(lenevii milor," but never before election. "GeiR>rals''~and 
"Colonels" sotnelimes indulged insucli an extravagant lu.\ury. Tlie surviviu"- sons of 
Jacob, are :— John Harkenstore a mercliant of Geneva, and Jacob and Frederick, of 
iiloomtield. Jacob Barkcustorc yet survives, a residout of LocJijiort. 




agricultural pursuits, owning nnd occupying llio large farm after 
wards iMirchased by Cidcm Loo. Judge Nicholas died in 1817. 
iris surviving sons arc Rol)ert(J. Nicholas, Lavvson Nicholas, Gavin 
L. Nicholas, John Nicholas ; a daoghter became the wife of Abra- 
ham Dox, and another the wife of Dr. Leonard, of Lansingburg. 

Robert S. Rose, a broth<'r-in-law of Judg(^ Nichr.las, emigrated 
with him from Virginia. He located upon a finm on the oirposite 
side of Seneca Lake, where for many years, he was one of the 
largest farmers in westc-rn New York. Roth he and Judge Nich- 
olns, wore at one j.eriod extensive wool growers, and did much to 
promote the imi)n)vement of sheo[) husbandry in this region. He 
was for (.ik; or two terms, a rei)resentativo in Congress. " He died, 
suddenly, :.t Waterloo, in 1815.* His widow, who was of the 
Virgmiu family of T.awsons, so liighly esteemed for her quiet and 
unobtrusive charities, and especially for her zealous aid to the Epis- 
copal church, whose doctrines she adorned through life, died in 
1817, or '8. The surviving sons, are: — Dr. Lawsmi C.'roso cf 
Geneva; John an<l Henry lios*., of Jerusalem, Yates county; 
Robert L. Rose, of Allen's Hill, Ontario county, late a representative 
m Congress, from the Ontario and Livingston district, and Charles 
Rose, ol the town of Rose, Wayne county. A daughter became 
the wile ol Robert C.Nicholas; nnother, the wife of Hopkins Sill 



From old nowspnper fil,..^ ]m^^ovvcd by James Bogart Es,,., nn early and 
wortl.y ,.on. .,..(,„• of (l,e ,K.usp...,,..r press i„ Ontnno.ounty. ' ^W sJsonic 
ac...,.Ml u ... early prin( and of (he (!en, sec eonntry. 

In Hath (.azette 17!)!), by an advertisement, it woul.l seen, the " Uath 

iH.a re was,,, l„h UtH. The plays annunnee,!, arc tho "Mock Doctor, or 

the ),,,,., J.,, ye,,,vd' " A peep into the Se,.aglio." -Pit, six .hilii,, >.; 

(.alley three .slnlhngs." In same pape,', (Jeo,'go M'Chiro, announees that lie 

* In iwlv lif,. lu- li;ul eM(vi-(ai,.(..l a iM-eser.tin.etit of ,su.M<.|i .lei.Ui, arisi,«- fn.m sonu- 
.sor,.u„/,a„n„ ,n ,)„. , ..f ,1... lK,,rt. Jlany y..;.rs j-iovious , , l,is .K. l/ . ul 

.1 t ..t st..,,,„„- ,nt,. I„.s sii.,.;!, to refii,-,,, l\.ll nm\ .s,„m, expi,v,l So iluJi,, \ ' s 

farm affcr 
d in 1817. 
jlas, Gavin 
of Abra- 

le opposite 
t)nc of the 
idge Nich- 
ifl Miuch to 
gion. He 
He (lied, 
:as of the 

quiet and 
3 the Epis- 
e, died in 
'. Rose, of 
s county ; 
id Ciiarles 
sr became 
)pk ins Sill 



1 early and 
'" Soo some 

the " Jjatl! 

l)oct(ir, or 
v .^liilliiu^'s; 
u'cstiiat lie 

C fn>m sonic 
I'.-ilh lie ]i;i(l 
I with siinu- 
and in the 
itiiiliii!,' «'a.s 

ill! CXi'^t']!- 

l>a« r^K.m..l a " house 'of ontert^iinmont," at IJath. Bath races arc advertised. 
"iN..rlliiiinl,-rl;iiirl and Siinhiirv (iazcttc " lino- rJ„„.|, • w,\v 

per aero to actual settlors." H.. says: — "A vill...c ell l i/- jV ,' 
islaid oatat „K. j.,.K.tion of the i.a....^ ^H '^^ ' o ^^^'tZ 

ihe Mla^., ^v,il l.ayo the advantage of asci.ool, chureh, dro." "MechanL 
;v""te. , to whom vi lage lots will lu, donated." "Mr.' W liiam .n lo^ 
eavo t., n,tunM th. ( settle, in JVnnsylvania, that h. ..pel Z 2 
o he annal of 400 Saxons fion. (J.rmany, who havetak... u, land in it 
Oene,s,.o o.Minli y. Th.y sailed tVnm Hamifun^ in April la.t " * 

M t .t .hey vv.ll contract the n.aking of a turnpike from Onondaga llollol 
U) Gc.ncva, anc n>ake payn.u.t for the same "in g.,.d land." In s^„,e „ Z 
It .s announced that "Sloop Seneca, will sail fmm (icneva <-Nery lUZ 
^vndand wvather pcrn-,i„in., fur the head of the Lake, andwiV^lT; 

tained'hv'') ^7u u""^' ^J"""' !«"« = - "I^<-tive proof has been ob- 
; d ■ ,? '"^ "• .^^'l^'^/"orr.ey o-eneral for Keaitncky district, that Burr 

Ind fon /in'; ']{r';'^'^M ^^f-^ ^var against Si-ain, invadiLg Mexico, 
and toiijiing a distuict empn-o m the western "country." 


In all our country there are but few survivors of our Revolution- 
ary period -not one. perhaps- certainly not in our local region, 
survives, who was so familiar with its stirring events as the venera- 
ble .James Reese, of Geneva, now in his 87th year. Enterin- the 
counting house of Willing & Morris, in Philadelphia, in the memora- 
ble year of the Declaration of Independence, he remained thereuntil 
tlie close of the long struggle that ensued. Transferred from the 
commercial department of the firm to the private desk, and confi- 
dence, of one of its partners, Robert Morris, then so blended with 
and so particiinitnig in all that was transpiring, it may well be con- 
ceived that his yet vigorous mind is a rich storehouse of historical 
reminiscences. The man survives, a citizen of our own local region 
who was a witness of the interviews that often occurred between 
Geo. VVashmgton and Robert Morris ; when he who wielded the 

: i::'^£rir:;:i^i::::;::{::S'z^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ - that the eatc^ns. 



■i ' 


sword, would meet him who wielded the purse, and the two, with 
painful anxiety, surrounded by embarrassments — with an unclothed 
and unpaid army, and an empty treasury — would discuss the por- 
tentuous questions, the ways and means of our nation's deliverance. 
When unpaid armies, disheartened, wore down by fatigue and pri- 
vation, would threaten dispersion and a return to their long neglect- 
ed homes ; when even their sicit-hearted leader would temporarily 
yield to despondency, and almost in despair appeal to him whose 
financial expedients were seemingly exhaustless, for council and 

The printed notes of hand that Mr. Morris issued in several 
emergencies during the Revolution, — especially those used in addi- 
tion to the sum borrowed of the French to enable Wa.-^hington to 
put the army upon its march, preparatory to the battle of Yoiitown, 
were filled up and afterwards cancelled by Mr. Reese. Of the 
hundreds in Mr. Morris' employment at that period, in all his com- 
mercial relations — as Superintendent of the finances, and Secre- 
taryof the Treasury — Mr. Reese alone survives. His position 
brought him in contact, and made him acquainted with the leaders 
or both the American and French army, and the officers of the 
Navy, of those whose memories are embalmed in a nation's heart. 
He names them with all the familiarity of recent intercourse ; but 
there are few, if any, in the long list that have not gone to their final 
rest^ He is one of the few remaining links that connect the Past 
with the Present — and his is not only in reference to our national 
history, but to the Pioneer history of our local region. 

Mr. Reese's first visit to this region was as clerk or secretary to 
the commissloutM;s for holding a treaty with the Indians, at " Big 
Tree, " commonly called the Morris' treaty. Returning to Phila- 
delphia he acquired an interest in the new region, and in 1798, he 
removed his family to Geneva, where he has since resided, with' the 
exception of one year spent in Bath,i>. connection with the land of- 
fice there. When Mr. Williamson canje out as the Pultnev agent 
his first business was v^ith Mr. Morris, where Mr. Reese became 
one of his earliest acquaintances in this country. On arriving here, 
he entered into his agency service, and after that, was his private 
agent until he returned to England. 

le two, with 
n unclothed 
iss the por- 
jue and pri- 
)ng neglect- 
him whose 
iouncil and 

in several 
!ed in addi- 
shington to 
York town, 
!e. Of the 
ill his com- 
and Secre- 
is position 
the leaders 
ers of the 
on's heart. 
Durse ; but 
I their final 
t the Past 
ir national 

cretary to 
I, at " Big 
;to Phila- 
1 1798, he 
I, with the 
e land of- 
ley agent, 
le became 
ving here, 
is private 

of the work 


He was appointed cashier to the old Bank of Geneva when it 
went into operation. He was in service during the war of ISiy, as 
a Deputy Quartermaster of the Northern Division of the Army • 

StiTlnrv^T' l" ''"%""'''' ^'"^ *^^'^^'"*' I^^"k Conunissioner of 
otato, and Postmaster at Geneva. 

In a work devoted to other objects, but a brief space can be spared 
lor iicvolutionary reminiscences -even those as full of interest as 
are those of the subject of this sketch. Speaking of Mr. Morris, he 
observes: — "His commercial transactions were immense, extend- 
ing over the greater portion of the commercial world ; and to all 
this was added the onerous task of providing for an army in the field, 
and an armed force upon the ocean. He brought all his energies 
ot mmdand body in requisition for the Herculean labor; wasactrve 
vigilant -at tunes sleepless,- and all in his employ were kept in 
motion 1 here was no man who could have filled his place He 
wielded an immense amount of wealth ; had an extraordinary facul- 
ty to inspire confidence ; he unloosed purse strings that no one else 
could have unloosed. Even those of the society of Friends, their 
principles forbidding an immediate or remote participaton in war 
or any of its relations, who constituted at that period a large class of 
Phdadelphia capitalists, lent him money; in one especial instance, 
«6,000 in specie, in a pressing emergency of the armv, with an in- 
junction of secrecy.* The relations between him and Washincrton 
during the whole of the Revolution, was one of great intimacy, con- 

Z7T -r^'^''^- There was no one individual upon whom 
the 1 ather ol his country so much relied, in all the terrible conflict 
that won our national Independence 

As the clerk of Mr. Morris, Mr. Reese had an opportunity of 
seeing Washington under circumstances which enable him to 
speak familiarly of him. " He always," says he. "received me and 

anfact"witrh-''""TT'"''"" '' ""^•"^' "^^" ' ^^' ^"^-^ ^o 
t ansact wuh him. He was mild and courteous - sedate - not 

Mr. Reese observes Ihat Mr. Morris' sudden reverses were in a 



-reat measure consequent upon what he re^rardecl as lus forf.nv.t 
investments! in ♦i.« /< "" "-o""^'^" 'is njs lortunate 

«:£i :;■:, ;«;- -s ,;".;v,::: 


,t ii. 

MLE OP P,„„. „„ „.,„„,„ ^„ „„„^„ „„„,^ _„^_ 

A »A.« intimaielj, bla,id,d will, tl,„ whole history of Iho Revo 
reg,o„. What could well Imnid, the material for an elabonte ht 

successor J^f ,h> , ■""" ""= P"""" "^ ^'^ '"" "''i 

successor. At the breakmg out of the Revolution, althou-h en 

gaged m an extensive mercantile and eonnnercial l,u ines ra . e' 

z* '"irmrh;"^ "^="™ " °"- - »-™ i«'i^- i" ;'e 

=>"u le. m 1776, he was a member of Con<rress from P,.nnc, i 
van,a, and one of the signers of the DeCaratirof XenSe: 



s fortunate 
His irolden 
ir Willijirn 
ope as the 
" and with 
he Union, 
e from af- 
h dignity, 
his u.seful 


le Revo- 
ititude is 
h all this 
rate his- 

his in- 
While a 
son and 
ugh en- 
that de- 

1 ill the 

In the previous year, soon after the battle of Trenton, General 
Washington, in a pressing emergency, had realized from him a tern- 
porary loan for the army. Again, money was wanted by the 
commander in chief, and he supplied it; the army was destitute 
of bread, and the doors of his store houses were opened for their 
relief; it was without lead for bullets, — stripping the lead fixtures 
from private dwellings for that purpose, — when the ballast of one 
of his vessels supi)lied the deficiency. Invested with the office of 
Secretary of an empty Treasury — becoming the financier of the 
poorest country that ever kept an army in the field, or armed ships 
upon the ocean — his own means were put in requisition, and his 
almost unbounded credit freely used. With a tact, as a financier, 
never excelled, when money must be had, he obtained it. When 
other men or bodies of men failed, he would succeed. When the 
rich bankers of Amsterdam knew no such new creation as the 
United Stales, or its Congress ; or, knowing them, had no confi- 
dence in their engagements, they trusted him on his private re- 
sponsibility with millions, which he used in the public service. 
And when the great struggle was drawing to a close — when a 
last and desperate blow was to be struck, and the army that was to 
doit, was in New Jersey, without pay, and destitute of comfortable 
clothing and rations, *~ when even its stout hearted commander- 
in-chief was almost yielding to the embarrassments with whic'i he 
was surrounded, and upon the point of leading his army the wrong 
way, because he could not command the means to move it where 
it should go — the active, patriotic financier hastened to his camp, 
and by assuring him that he would supply all immediate wants, en- 
couraged him to put his army in motion. The destination was 
Yorktown ;— the defeat of Cornwallis, the crowning act of the 
Revolution, was the result.f Mr. Morris died in New Je-sey, in 
1800. He was eventually reitnburscd by Congress for all of his 
expenditures and losses in the Revolution, though not for the sacri- 
fices of time and abstraction from his private business, that his pub- 
lic services made necessary. He was, however, eminently success- 

*"lHiiwthat army wlicn it i.iiHsod tliniiit;], I'liihuldphin," sjiys flio venorablo 
JameH lli't-s,, ; "au.l a inoiv nmire,!, bIdoIoss, aiul sad looking one,' lias soldom been 
[lilt iiiwii the inaivh lu tlio diicotiou of an I'lifiiiy." 

t Tl... mn„.-y i-, «n.,oi,,>, that hi. h:id pr«n.i...d, wud bonwcd, aiid paid to tho army. 
Init a lew days bulore tJiu attack upon Cornwallis. ' 







ful in his commercial affairs, and at one period, was by far the 
wealthiest man in the United States ; but engaging enormously in 
land purchases — other than in this region — he became embar- 
rassed, and the country he had so well served, had the sore morti- 
fication of seeing him, toward the close of his useful life, the tenant 
of jail limits. * 

Mr. Morris' extended commercial affairs, had made him in a 
measure, a citizen of the world, instead of that of the new republic. 
Such was his credit at one period, that in most of the commercial 
cities of Europe, his private notes passed from hand to hand, with 
all the confidence that would have been had in the issues of a sound 
bank. At the close of the Revolution, an immense quantity of wild 
lands were thrown into market, speculation became rife, and Mr. 
Morris entered into it upon an extensive scale. Mr. Phelps, during 
the Revolution, having been connected with the commissary depart- 
ment of the Massachusetts line, and Mr. Gorhnm, being a promi- 
nent merchant in Boston, Mr. Morris had made their acquaintance, 
and when they sought a purchaser for their unsold laiids in the Gen- 
esee country, they applied to him. Little was known in the com- 
mercial cities of all this region, other than what had been gathered 
from maps, and from those who had accompanied Sullivan's expedi- 


of Lini in I 

TIio DiiK Liiinconrt, who itiiide the acquaintance of Mr. Morris, and speaks 
lan^'UMgc of rc'sjic'ct and cstocn), montionH anioni,'liis ![rii,'antic, l)n,sinfss oiier- 
ations, Ins investniouts in the city of Wasliington. Tlie c-ipital \vaa located in an era 
of speculation and inllation, and niiijjii I ficcut expectations wew entertained in reference 
to the city that would grow up anjund it. In company with Messrs. Nicholson and 
Greenleaf, of I'hiladelpliia, he i)urchased G.OOO lots at f 80 per lot, with the condition 
that there should be built upon thoni ILH) two story brick houses, within seven years. 
This purcliase was made of commissioners; the company bought about an euuai 
number of lots of original proprietors of the ground. Successful sales followed, ijart 
of the buildings were erected, but the bubble burst and added to the embaiTassinents 
of Mr. Jlorris, ruining manv others of the large capitalists of the United States. The 
city of " brickkilns," and "magnilicent distances," as Mr. Randolph called it, abounds 
with tlie relics of tlio extravagant views entertained at an early period. 

The iirivatc notes tliat Mr. Morris issued during the Kevolul'ion, were railed " Lon- 

J3ob8,"Saiid " liort Bobh ;" having reference to the drawer's name, and the periods of 
their maturity. Jttgs- For a more extended biographical sketch of Robert Morris see 
History of Holland Purchase. ' 

*An unthinking Sliylock at a public watering place, during the last summer, in W. 
X. Y., gave it as his sage and ])rofound oinuion, that no " worthy, (h'servin" man «' 
eversulFered by the operations <if tlie old law, which imprison(Hl for lU'bt ; and added 
the wish, tJiat it could be restored. The .'nithor nuist here not<! what occurred to him 
nt the time ; — The man, without whose individual exertions, the Revolutionary strug- 
gle woidd have been a failure ; and the man who projected the overland route of that 
groiit dispenserof wealth and prosjierity to rnillinns — the Erie Canal — were victirtw 
of that relic of an iron age, which strangely enough had found at this late period one 
advocate. ' ' 



tion. Mr. Morris, however, sought the means of further informa- 
tion. Ebenezer (or Indian) Allan, was then located as an Indian 
trader on the Genesee River, at what is now Mount Morris, and 
was in the habit of making yearly visits to Philadelphia for the pur- 
chase of goods. Samuel Street who resided at the Falls on the Can- 
ada side, had also visited Philadelphia. From them Mr. Morris ob- 
tained information, which induced him to accede to a proposition of 
Messrs. Phelps & Gorham. Their deed of conveyance embraces 
their entire final purchase of Massachusetts, of about two millions, 
two hundred thousand acres, excepting such towns and parts of town- 
ships as they had sold, being in all, about one million, one hundred 
thousand acres. The consideration and actual price paid by Mr. 
Morris, was thirty thousand pounds New York currency. 

At an early period after the purchase, Mr. Morris employed Maj. 
Adam Hoops to exolore the country,* who reported that " in respect 
to soil, climate and advantageous navigation," it was equal to any 
portion of the United States. Measures were immediately adopted 
for the survey of such portions as vtas unsurveyed. The celebra- 
ted David Rittenhouse was then just perfecting some surveyor's in • 
struments, and he was employed to fit out Major Hoops' expedition.f 

«>•?•' MrEbo™\tfn )l "^ n T'^^l^'' P"'"f "■'^'*''' ^'"^ "" '"« "g'^"* i" London, 
tJiat Mr. Ji.l(iiczai Allan tlu^ oldest settler in that country" had .issured him "that 

3,Xfs onr:o'fi^' "■' l'"t ' '^ "' ™"'P»■'^'•»'"1 '^troni an.l that he K ra sod 
loity busholh ot the htiesi ;vheat he ever .saw, an.l so of otlier articles in like abund- 
ance. Ho a.s,sert.s that the forest trees about Philadel,>hiu are not larger la th bran- 
ch, s of trees i„ h,s neighborhood." In another letter he assures his agen ha he has 

Si H^ml-f. Hi''''''"-; '''''%"''•' "^'"? ^""'^'^" P'"-'''''''^"' f--""' «'"«" who belonged to 

the iM lend s settlen.en oa fccncca Lake, tliat had returned to Pennsylvania on a vi^t 

o their connc^xion. He n.ssures him that he has from all quarttTS Srsuerfuor - 

ble accounts of the couutry, that were he a young man, he wldd " pifcl, Ids tent there i" 

Jf fhiu "','T '''■''' "'''• '"1? ';,";'■"■ I'''"«''''lplii-'i- Ho had been in the army through- 
«fy-W '■;'•''';'"' '"''%"' «""'™"'>' c.i'npMign, and at one period, belonged oAe 
staff ot W ashmgton ; and was one of the aid's of Gen. Sullivan, \n his expedition to the 

^Tm 'Z''''- f}'- '""'i ^""•'T^*'^ ''''''^' the earliest surveys of aFl ^ region 
\\hen Mr Morris nf erwards, purchased all the regions west of 'Phelps and Gorha "s 
^'hjiT'; T^T^:"""^ .t and commenced the surveys. In 1801. he i'^ 1^ w h 
Lbenezer I< .Norton, purchased the most of the township of Olemi. They la^d out 

Sud.:;? a?n weSSS'^Sf^s :^>r''- ^^^'^^^ ^° «^-"- ^ ^^ 

toUSi^/miJ'l^lirdr^ 1?h^he'i;K3i:JT' 7r'i *"''^°°1 

i.,strumems. in anticipLtion of the t.anS ofVi:, ill^'h ttSll^dlS'j^St 
be present and enjoy a view of it Among the res he had iuv e a re pectaWe far- 
mer from tho ccmntry. who knew far more about raising crops, than hTSd about 



In Mr. Morns' extensive land operations, he had a-ents in all the 
principal cities of Europe. His agent in London, was Win Tern- 
pie Franklin, a grand-son of Dr. Franklin, to whom he had .^iven 
an inadequate idea of its real value. Just as he became fully ap- 
prized ot Its value, and was in active preparation to bring it' into 
market for settlers, un<ler his own auspices, he received news from 
Mr. Franklin, that he had sold it. The purchasers were an '-Asso- 
ciation," consisting of Sir Wm. Pultney, John Hornbv and Patrick 
Colquhoun. The first was a capatalist, and at that peHod occupied 
a high position as a citizen and statesman. He resided in the city of 
London. The second, had been governor of Bombav, and was a 
retired London capitalist. The third was eminent in his dav, as a 
statesman and philanthropist.* The price paid for wliat was sup- 
posed to be about one million one hundred thousand acres, but 
which in fact amounted to almost one million two hundred thousand 
acres, was thirty five thousand pounds sterling. Mr. Morris had 
written to Mr. Franklin previous to the sale, a letter from which he 
would have inferred, that he intended advancing on the price, but 
the sale was made previous to the reception of the letter. In'that 
letter he says: — "I have applications in all, for 250,000 acres of 
the Genesee lands, and they are daily increasing. This winter has 
disclosed the real character those lands deserve. Many genteel 
families arc going to settle there, and as I have determined to settle 
my son there, no one can doubt the favorable opinion I entertain of 
the soil, climate and rapidity of settlement." " I consider that the 
southwestern Indian war, will eventuallv be of advantage to the set- 
tlements of the Genesee country." " There is now in this city a Mr. 
Jackson, who lives on the borders of Seneca Lake, who is accom- 
panied by an Indian. They assured me that before they left, while 
there was snow on the ground, every night thirty or forty Iknilics 
arrived at his place, (Friends settlement,) on their way to settle the 
lands that had been bought before my purchase." " All our public 
affairs go on well. This country is rushing into wealth and impor- 


,,n, ^'^'I'^f. ^^^l'** «'"ect«J i» front f.f the Pro«byterian cliurch in Caiiamlai.nm fo 
pcrpctuaUj ]U8 moniory, Im i,p„„ it an insoriptiou wliicli rociriiiz,.. the pWnc pal 
evontH ot lu« us. Ml He ^vaK a „ativo of Glas^.nv, an.! .li,.! in Lon.lon, i,I l,>^!i() 
ago<l .bycaiu iMny men liavo coiitrilnitod more to tlu- ivfonuatioii of criMiiiial law-' 
to Ik. i.mmj.tion ot tiado and foundinir syst.Mus for lH.n<-tiuin..-ll,t. poor' 
and tor public edurNition ,n Entfland and Soolland. in son.e of Jus vorn^^v.mLwc 
, « -Vw, "'^.^''.•' ;■'""'"••.• '>•' "H.ntiouK liaviuLf sp,.nt .oinf tin.o in Anieriiu iMrvi- 
ous to I I'M : iiti i.s iiil..nvd. lu somu of thi' Siiuthcrn Stati's. 



tance faster than ever was expected by the most sanguine of the 
sanguineus." My Genesee lands are infinitely prelerable to any 
American lands that can be offered in Europe." After he had 
been apprised of the sale, he wrote to Mr. Colquhoun : — "Those 
iracts which Gorham and Phelps had sold previous to my purchase, 
are settling very fast, and the first settlers are raising enough to 
supply the new comers." " I am now at New York, on my return 
from Boston, where I saw several people from the Genesee country, 
and it affords me great pleasure to reiterate the account which you 
have already had, of that fine country. On my way through Connec- 
ticut, I met Mr. Wadsworth who has settled in the Genesee country, 
with whom I had much conversation, and who I find like every 
other person who has visited the country, is in raptures with it. 
Mr. Wadsworth is extremely intelligent, and one upon whose 
veracity the utmost reliance can be placed. The reports made by 
him and others in New England, has turned the attention of all who 
think of em-igration, towards the Genesee, and every man who 
pitches his tent there, adds to the value of your purchase." 

IMajor Hoops, prosecuted the surveys under the new proprietors, 
by an arrangement with Mr. Morris. He early discovered, what 
had been suspected, a material error in the running the Pre-emp- 
tion line. As this is a matter which it will be necessary for the 
reader to understand, in connection with after events, it may be 
here stated, that the State of New York ceded to Massachusetts, 
all the territory west of a line to be drawn due north antl south 
from the 82nd mile stone on the Pennsylvania line. Before the 
running this line, it could of course be but mere conjecture where 
it would fall, as far north from the starting point as Seneca Lake. 
Seth Reed, the afterwards founder of the settlement at Presque 
Isle, CErio.) Pa., the grand-father of the present ChnHes M. Reed, 
and Peter Ryckman, both of whom had been Indian traders, ap- 
plied to the State of New York, for a remuneration for services 
rendered in some previous negotiations with the eastern portion of 
the Six Nations, and proposed to take a patent for a tract, the boun- 
daries of which should "begin at a tree on the bank of the Seneca 
Lake, and run along the bank of the Lake to tho south, until they 
should have IG.OOO acres between the Lake and tho east bounds of 
the land ceded to Massachusetts." Their request was acceded to, 
and a patent issued. Thus situated, they proposed to Messrs. Phelps 





and Gorham, to join them in running the Pre-emption Line, each 
party furnishing a surveyor. " A Captain Allen," says one authority, 
" Mr. Jenkins " says another, was selected by Reed and Ryckman, 
and Colonel Maxwell, by Phelps and Gorham. In the mean time, 
the Lessees assuming that their transactions were valid, took an in- 
terest in the matter, and as Messrs. Reed and Ryckman were both 
share holders in their company, the matter was mutually accommo- 
dated between them. The line was run, which is known as the 
"Old Pre-emption Line." Messrs. Phelps and Gorham, were 
much disappointed in the result, suspected error, or fraud, but made 
no movement for a re-survey, before they had sold to the English 
Association. Their suspicions had been at first excited by an offer 
from a prominent member of the Lessee Company, for " all the lands 
they owned east of the line that had been run." They were so 
well assured of the fact, that in their deed to Mr. Morris, they 
specified a tract, in a gore between the line then run, and the west 
bounds of the counties of Montgomery and Tioga, those counties 
then embracing all of the military tract. 

Upon a superficial ej^amination of the line, Major Hoops was 
convinced of its inaccuracy. Mr. Morris having in his convey- 
ance to the English purchaser-s, stipulated an accurate survey of all 
he conveyed, instructed Major Hoops to correct the line.* Mr 
Elhcott with his two brothers, Joseph and Benjamin, had then just 
finished the survey of Washington city. The transit instrument, 
for surveymg by means of astronomical observations, havlwr just 
been invented in Germany, Mr. Ellicott availed himself of It, ! is 
brother Benjamin superintending its construction. Upon arriving 
in this country, Mr. Ellicott was joined by the late Judge Porter, who 
was then a surveyor in the employ of Messrs. Phelps & Gorham ; 
a corps of axe-men were employed, and a vista thirty feet wide 
opened before the transit instrument, until tlie line had reached the 
head of Seneca Lake, when night signals were employed to run 
down and over the Lake. So much pains were taken to insure 
correctness, that tne survey was never disjjuted, and thus the " 7iew 
Pre-emption Line" was established as the true division line between 

11 ' a 

* In a letter to Mr Colquhovn, Mr. Morris says: "These tliree brother*" CAn- 
d ew, Joseph, and Benjamin Ellirott,) "are of tJio number of l,ein.s on X,'. n lU. e 
Sh t'l''" ^T''- J '7 '"\S''^^ ">Hthen,aticiaMS as well as nR.ehanical ge u os to 
Wlucli they have addocf much practical experience, and good moral character^'" 




the lands of the State of New York and those that had been ceded 
to Massachusetts. In examining the old survey, Major Hoops had 
discovered the precise points of deviation to the westward. It had 
commenced s6on after leaving the Penhsylvania line, gradually 
bearing off until it crossed the out-let of the Crooked Lake, where 
an abrupt offset was made, and then an inclination for a few miles, 
almost in a north-west course ; then as if fearful that it was running 
west farther than was necessary to secure a given object, the line 
was made to incline to the east, until it passed the foot of Seneca 
Lake, when it was run nearly north and south to Lake Ontario. All 
this will be observed upon any of the old maps. It will at once be 
perceived that the site of Geneva, the 1G,000 acres of Reed and 
Ryckman, and the supposed interests of the Lessees, had caused more 
than a usual variation of the surveyor's compass. Judge Porter's 
explanation is as follows: "Geneva was then a small settlement, 
beautifully situated on the Seneca Lake, rendered quite attractive 
by its lying beside an old Indian settlement, in which there was an 
orchard." * 

The old pre-emption line, terminated on Lake Ontario, three 
miles west of Sodus Bay, and the new line very nearly the center 
of the head of the Bay. With the exception of the abrupt varia- 
tions that have been noticed, the old line parting from the true merid- 
ian about five miles south of the Chemung river, bears off gradually 
until it reaches the shore of Lake Ontario. The strip of land between 
the two lines was called " The Gore." In addition to the patent 
granted to Reed and Ryckman, the State had pre-^umed the origi- 
nal survey to be correct, and made other grants, and allowed the 
location of military land warrants upon what had been made dispu- 
ted territory. We shall see what was the final disposition of the 

After Mr. Morris had made the purchase of Phelps and Gorham, 
he had once endeavored to promote the settlement of the Genesee 
lands, entering into negotiations with individuals, and with those 
who proposed founding settlements or colonies, but he had perfected 
nothing; though some sales he had in progress, were consummated 

* In speaking of this fraiul, to tlie author, Jiul,i,'o Porter eutiroly exonerated Col 
Maxwell, tor whom, in common with all who knew him, ho eiit<>rtained a lii^h res- 
pect. In fact, it turned out that Col. Maxwell was sick and ^Mhvd to tnist the lino 
to his associate at the time the fraud was committed. 






by his successors. His plan of settlement contemplated principally 
emigration from Pennsylvania ; but there were formidable difficul- 
ties in the way. A wide forest separated his lands from the most 
advanced settlements of Pennsylvania, over the mountains and 
across the streams, of which no avenue had been opened ; and the 
still greater difliculty was the fear of Indian wars. The Six Na- 
tions were looked upon as but in a state of armistice, as having re- 
luctantly yielded to necesssity, and paused in their stealthy assaults ; 
but far from being reconciled, ready to again take up the tomahawk 
and scalping knife, upon their own account, if opportunity was of- 
fered, or at the bidding of those who were yet brooding over their 
revenge behind the walls of Forts Oswego and Niagara, and in their 
Canadian retreats. The borderers of Pennsylvania had seen and felt 
too much of the horrors of Indian wars, to feel willing to place them- 
selves again in a position to be harrassed by them. News had 
reached them of Indian murders of surveyors and emigrants near 
Presque Isle, and of surveyors in this region ; of solitarv cases of a 
renewal of Indian hostilities upon the Susquchannah/ and rumor 
had vastly magnified the, apprehended danger. A society of Men- 
onists in Pennsylvania, had contracted with Phelps and Gorham 
for a township, and were negotiating with Mr. Morris for a larger 
purchase, to enable them to settle their sons in this country, but 
gave up the project in consequence of the fear of Indian war. Mr. 
Morris writes to Mr. Colciuhoun soon after he had sold to the As- 
sociation, that " these worthy but timid people had grown afraid 
smce the Indian wars at the westward had become so^general as it 
IS, to let their sons go out even to the townships tliev have bought, 
lest the Six Nations should become parties, and attack the Gcne'see 
settlements. Now as there is not the least danger of this happenino-, 
the Six Nations having decided already for peace, yet these timid peo- 
ple wdl await their own time. I will, however, announce to them that 
[ can supply them with the lands they wanted, and as I think the 
[ndian war will be of short duration, there is little doubt but thev 
will buy it when it is over." 

In a letter from Mr. Morris to Mr. Colquhoun, dated in June. 
1791, he gives a general statement of wild lands in the United Slates! 
dien m market. Sjjcaking of his own operations he savs, he has 
50,000^acres in Otsego county, that he had bought of the St.itc of 
\'ew York; and he mentions that the State of New York iias yet 




ble difficul- 
tn the most 
iitains and 
d ; and the 
ho Six Na- 
liaving re- 
ly assaults : 
ty was of. 

over their 
lud in their 
^en and felt 
ilace them- 
News had 
rants near 
cases of a 
md rumor 
y of Men- 
id Gorhani 
)r a larger 
untry, but 
■var. Mr. 
to the As- 
wn afraid 
neral as it 
fe bought, 
3 Genesee 
timid peo- 
them that 
think the 

but they 

in June, 
}d States. 
f, lie has 

! Stiitc nf 

: has yet 

000,000 acres, but he knows of a "company who intend to buy it. 
1 he fetate asks four shillings per acre, and want cash down, the ap- 
pheants want credit, an.l a lou'er price, and as yet the land remains 
unsold. On the Molr.iwk river, are worth from £5 to£l5 
per acre. New Englan<l currency." He mentions " that in company 
with Govcrncur Morris," (who was then in Europe, endeavorincr to 
sell lands,) " and his brother-in-law, I have a 190 thousand acres°on 
the river Sf. Lawrence." " In Pennsylvania the lands belonging to 
the State are reduced by sales and settlement to an inconsiderable 
quantity." " The vacant lands in Virginia, from a vicious practice 
in the land office, and a more vicious practice of the surveyors, are 
rendered so i)recarious in title, that people are afraid to buy them 
and therefore they are olfered at Od per acre, and no buyers" 
•'Lands west of the Ohio are now out of the question, until the In- 
dian war IS over; they are also too remote from any market" 
'•Lands in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia may be 
cheap, but the climate is too warm for rapid settlement." 


As soon as the London Associates had completed their purchase 
of Mr. Franklin, the agent of Mr. Morris, they entered upon 
measures for the sale and settlement of what they had acquired. 
Sir Wm. Pultney, in the earliest years, was in a great measure a 
silent partner; the concerns of the Genesee lands .seem to have 
devolved principally upon Mr. Colquhoun. He devoted himself 
earnestly to the work; availed himself of all the information he 
could acquire; projected improvements ; and made himself, by an 
active correspondence with Mr. Morris and others, in this country, with this region. He was ambitious to make it a lucrative 
operation for himself and associates, and at the same time to make 
himselt and them the founders of prosperous settlements. His 
correspondence are perfect specimens of method, and high business 

tliorel,.,., u. tLi. rc,u.,, dul not coase with U. ^d. to Sir Wiu. i'miuoy aul ™tL 



qualifications ; exhibit great foresight and prudence ; and touching 
the interest of those upon whom was to devolve tlie hard task of 
subduing the wilderness, there is blended in all of it a spirit of phi- 
lanthropy, and fair and honest dealing, which would well justify 
nmch that has been said of him on the tablet that has been raised 
to his memory in Cahandaigua. And with nothing to judge from 
but his business letters, instructions to agents, &c., it is impossible to 
form any other conclusion with regard to Sir Win. Pultney, but such 
as are creditable to liim, as one whose capital had made his own 
interests and those of new settlers, mutual. 

And here, with a knowledge that the author has acquired by a 
perusal of masses of correspondence that have passed between the 
foreign land holders of most of all Western New York and their 
agents — letters written in all the confidence that would accrue from 
such a relation— he is constrained to remark, that the country 
could hardly have fallen into better hands. Both the English and 
the Dutch companies, under whose auspices, as proprietors, three 
fourths of the whole country west of Seneca Lake was settled, 
were composed of ca5)italists who made investments of large 
amounts of money, in the infancy of this republic, when its stabil- 
ity was by no means a settled point ; and they were satisfied with 
reasonable returns Ibr their vast outlays ; and patient under the de- 
lays of payment, as all must concede. With reference to both 
companies, in all their correspondence with their agents, no wish or 
mdication escapes them of a disposition to have the new settlers 
oppressed, or to have their business conducted in any other than a fair, 
honest, and liberal manner. If any Avrong policy was pursued it 
was a fixing of too high prices upon land, and in that matter they 
generally were guided by the advice of their agents ; but long, in 
many instances, almost interminable credits were given ; and that 
enabled men to possess, and finally pay for land, who could not have 
done so, if payment at a very low rate had been demanded in hand. 
There is not in the history of the world a better example of the 
advantages of credit than is furnished in the settlement of all this 
region. It has conferred homes and competence upon tens of 
thousands who would not have had them if pay down had been the 
order of early days. There was no considerable class of actual 
settlers when most of the Genesee country was brought into 
market that could pay down even twenty five cents per acre. The 


present system of sellmg the wild land, of the UnLed States would 

one then ' ™ = " °"' ""^ ""= '"'"■ '•"""" '<'«- was 

The Association, as a first step after purchase, looked for an a-ent 
to manage ,,. The choice feii npon Charles Williamson o^e Ih" 
was destined to nave his name prominently and honorably idenlZ 
w,th all^Uje carhos. history of settlement and progress i'n Cem 

frie*8cT;i!:r°H::;:tiT'ii:;:„S™^[ ■" '"^ --r^^™- 

tarv of ,h. P„l f u Alcxande. Wi||,amson, was the Secre- 

tary «f (he Earl of Hopcton. At the commencement of the Revo 
im.on. he held a captain's commission in .ho British servTce and 
was ordered to this conntry with his rogi.nen,, though a' 'hap 
pened w.thout any service. The ship Tn whi h he°saiM when 

newbnrypo 1, and transferred to the depot at Boston, where he re 

."red to'iz'd""'^', "' ^'°" "' "'^ "»^' "- ™-™d Id ;:: 

turned to bcotlund. lie improved his stiv in <h« * > ■ 

lectins much information, and eft it v 1 hilh e ? i'^' ""^ ''°'- 
ference to ;i> ,),. ,■ ■ ■ ■ Sti expectations h re- 

lerence toits dcst, which were fully confirmed by the success 

IZZT""! "' ""^ "■•"• "'■ ''" ""™''"-"- After m Mug he" 

:::i^^trr^rz?f^:;Ssin^Erp-' "r '^^ 

qualities attracted thettentn o Mr't '^dU 001^ T'^' 
thensherin-of Wes,„,i„ster. and with then ' he befame v X M 
mate, was only ended by the death of thenar. e7 Mr 
W,ll,^mson had a strong desire to return to this country wh ch ™ 
gm uficd by h,s appointment as agent of what was a't f s taW 
The, Assocatton, ■ and afterwards the Pultney Estate. Leav „1 
London, he repaired to Scotland, and after arranging his affairs there 
sailed for this country, accompanied by his fiimilv ind t vo n 
educated and intelligent ScotcLen. /ohn jl" Le a d ch-'- 
Cameron, who came out as his assistants. After a long voyage the 
party arrived at Norfolk, and going ,„ Baltimore, Mr W I ramson 
provided quarters for his family for the winter. From tZi dty he 
wrote to his principals Iha. aii things looked well in the nw out 



try; that the city was so full of newly amved emigrants that he 
found it (lifllcuU to ,<ret accommodations. Preceding his companions, 
he went to Philadelphia, made the acquaintance of Mr. Morris, and 
availed himself of his knowledge of the Genesee country, and his 
remammg mterest in it, in projecting some improvements, the open- 
ing of a dn-ect road to the purchase, and a general plan of commen- 
cing the settlements; at the same time, after having become natural- 
ized he took from Mr. Morris deeds in his own name, his principals 
being aliens and non-residents. In a letter to Mr. Colquhoun from 
Baltimore, Mr. Williamson had foreshadowed some of his ideas of 
what should be done. He states that he had just met with a gentle- 
man who had "traversed the Genesee lands in several directions ; " 
and his account corresponded with their most favf.rable anticipa- 
tions : — " He declares that even the worst are superior to any he 
ever saw." Mr. Williamson adds:-" These disinterested ac- 
counts, from diirerent people, put the quality of the land in the ftdrest 
view. The next object then is to take some liberal and decisive 
steps to bring them to their value. Want of communications is 
the great draw back on back settlements distant from the rivers 
that run into the Atlantic. Remove this difficulty and there can be 
no doubt that the gentlemen of the Association will reap an advan- 
tage fifty times their outlay ; and come to their purpose many years 
sooner. Nothing will draw the attention of the people of America 
more readily than the idea of their settling under the protection of 
an association who will take every means To render their farms con- 
venient and profitable. " In the samo letter he proposes a plan for 
advancing £J0 to "poor settlers to induce them to settle down on 
the worst part of the tract where wealthier people might hesitate to 
make a beginning., 

Mr. Williamson spent the most of the winter of 1791, '2, with 
his party in Northumberland, Penn. In February, however, he 
made a flying visit to the Genesee country, going around via Now 
York and Albany. He writes to Mr. Colquhoun that he passed 
through "an uninhabited wilderness of more than 100 miles before 
reaching Geneva, which consisted of a few straggling huts." 
"There is not a road within one hundred miles of the Genesee 
country, that will admit of any sort of conveyance, otherwise than 
on horseback, or on a sled, when the ground is covered with snow." 
" The price of land has, in a few instances, exceeded 2s. per acre ; 

Its that he 
tlorris, and 
ry, and his 
;, the opon- 
f commen- 
ne natural- 
; principals 
ihoun from 
lis ideas of 
h a gentle- 
rections ; " 
5 anticipa- 
' to any he 
'rested ac- 
the fiurest 
d decisive 
licaticns is 
the rivers 
lere can be 
an advan- 
lany years 
f America 
)tection of 
farms con- 
a plan for 
e down on 
hesitate to 

'1, '2, with 
wever, he 

I via New 
he passed 
iles before 
ng huts." 
wise than 
th snow." 
per acre ; 


some few farms of first-rate quality have been sold on a credit for 
4s. per acre." Returning to Baltimore, he decide.! upon opening a 
conur.unication with the Genesee country from the southward "it 
was Ironi that direction he expected his principal emigration ;"and 
he looked to the Susquehannah and its branche.^ and Chesapeake 
IJay, as the prospective avenues of trade from all this recrion • and 
to Baltimore as its great emporium. To the eastward °from the 
Genesee country, every thing had a discouraging look — a woods 
road through the wide wilderness that separated the recrion from 
the old settlement dn the Mohawk, which when improv^ed, would 
furnish but a long and expensive land carriage ; and the imperfect 
and expensive water communication afforded by the Mohawk 
Wood Creek, Oneida Lake, Oswego, and Seneca Rivers, afforded 
the best prospects that existed in that direction. Takin- care to 
excite a good deal of interest in Baltimore, by holding out^the fine 
prospects for trade with the Genesee country, he returned to North- 
umberland and organized a party of road survevors. Pioceedincr 
via Loyalsock, the party went up the Lycoming to the "house 
of one Kyle," who was then the farthest advanced settler — 
Sending out the hunters to explore ahead, and return and re- 
port, the party by slow progress, camping and breaking up their 
camps, proceeded until they had located a road from what 
was then " Ross Farm." now Williamsport, to the mouth of the 
Canascraga Creek, on the Genesee river, a distance of about 
one hundred and fifty miles. * Application was made to the State 
ot Pennsylvania for assistance to open the road ; but little more was 
obtained than authority to build it through that State. Measures 
were immediately commenced for opening the road. Before it 
could be opened, a ship with merchant's goods that Mr. Colquhoun 
had consigned to Mr. Williamson, arrived at Baltimore. The con- 
signee informed the consigner that there was no other way to get 
them to the Genesee country, but by "pack horses and Indian 
paths, except in freshets ;" but finally concluded to sell off the heavy 
goods at Baltimore, and send on the lighter ones via New York 
and Albany. Before the close of 1792, Mr. Williamson had deter- 

■ * - "•- '-•' i..i<«<;a to Uenedcc nvcr. 







mined upon commencing his first settlement at the termination of 
his road on the Genesee river, and in pursuance of that decision, 
had laid out a village, which he called Williamsburg, ploughed 80 
acres of flats, and built a long row of dwellinfrs. 

The dwellings and ploughed ground were intended for the use of 
a German colony. As " Williamsburg" and " the Germans," 
formed a distinct feature of all tliis region, in an earl} day, some 
account of them, their advent, and alter hegaa, must be given 
here. It was an untoward commencement of settlement, or rather, 
of European colonization in the Genesee country. 

Soon after the Association had sent out Mr. Williamson, there 
appeared in London an itinerant picture merchant from Germany, 
by the name of Berezy. With a good deal of tact and gentlemanly 
address, he had won the confidence of Mr. Colquhoun, and prevail- 
ed upon him to let him head an expedition which contemplated the 
bringing to this country a colony of poor, industrious Saxons — 
colonizing them, and holding them here as redempt-onists.* In- 
stead of following his instructions, he went to the city of Ham- 
burgh and jjicked up idlers, indifierent mechanics, broken down 
gamblers and players, — in Hict, just about the worst materials that 
were ever collected for the practical uses of a new settlement.! 
They consisted of about seventy ftunilies. From their very start, 
they began to be the source of enormous expense, Arriving at 
London, they were, after a great deal of tnjuble, put on board two 
chartered vessels and consigned to Robert Morris. They finally 
^. rived at Northumberland just about the time that Mr. Williamson 
commenced opening the road. Axes, spades and hoes were provi- 
ded for them, and they set to work: nnd bad work enough they 
made of it. They had to be first taught the use of their tools, and 
were far from learning easily. An old gentleman who came over 
the road in an early day, says th6 trees looked as if they had been 
"gnawed down by beavers." Their labor, however, made the road 

NoTR.— On nrriving at Gcnesoo rivor, Mr. Williamson found that T. 8, R 7, now 
Groveland, had boon wild to an agont ol a Society of Mcnonists, in Pct)nsylvaiiin, by 
PljolpH and (iiiiliani. lie purtluiaeil the town.ship.s of llio agent, paying iho thou high 
price of ono dollar per aero. 

* Persona hekl to service to pay all expensos uttondhig their enuOTation and settle- 

t They were, says the French Duko Lianconrt, " of the crowd of foroigneri, whom 
poverty, idleness, and uocoaaitius of every kind, induce to resort, to HaniLurgh wiUi a 
view to umigratiou." 




principally, to where Blossburgh 


1 . V> . , -r. " ' "°^ *^- ^^^^y were irien laKen 

down to Painted Post, and ren.ained there until the sprin. of '93 
when they were located at the home provided for them at William.', 
hurg. Each family had a house and fifty acres of land appro- 
priated to Its use ; necessary farming tools ; a stock of provisions ■ 
and there were distributed among the whole. 27 yoke of oxen 4o' 
cows, BO hogs, 300 sheep. Even their household utensils wore 
provided them. Beside all this, they had their minister and 

The city training, and idle habits of the expensive colonists, soon 
began to be exhibited. They were both idle and improvident the 
women made as bad use of the provisions that had been furnished 
as the men of the farming implements that were pu to their 
hands. An eye witness informed the author, that thcN ^ .od their 
pork and then threw it away, supposing the grease only intended for 
use; and he gave other .similar specimens of their domestic econo- 
my. The whole fiddled and danced, and drank whiskey ; even the 
minister proved a bad specimen of his cloth. It soon turned out 
that most of them had been deceived. Berezy to sw^>Il his num- 
bers, and gratify his ambition to be tlie head of a colonv, had prom- 
ised them fine times in America ; had assured them that his patrons 
being rich, they should want for nothin-g, and as they were to be 
the founders of a city, they could each choose such employment as 
was best suited to their tastes and habits. That they were to dig 
and delve in the dirty earth, was not in the bond, according to 
under.«tandinff. * 

Mr. Williamson soon became convinced, that he had at least one 
bad job upon his hands, as the founder of new settlements. One 
stock of provisions was consumed, and another had" to be supplied ; 
the fallows that had been provided for them, lay undisturbed; th. 
sheep and hogs that were intended as breeders, and th. cows that 
were intended to furnish milk -all obtained at great expense and 
t.oube-one after another disappeared, and were found upon the 
shambles; the city appetites of the hopeful colonists cravin- occa- 
sional alternations between salted and fresh provisions. The very 
seeds that Mr. Williamson provided, instead of going into the 
ground, went into the pot. And what was worse perhaps than all, 
Berezy, by indulgence and other artful management, had oMain^ 
ed complete control of the colonists, and set ^himself above Mr 




Williamson, claiming to have brought his authority directly from 
head quarters in London. A store had been established at Wil- 
liamsburg, which was under the care of Mr. John Johnstone, and 
Berezy and the Germans had used its goods and provisions lavishly ; 
and besides. Berezy had contracted debts for supplies, especially 
with the Messrs. Wadsworth.s, assuming that he was acting for the 
Association, and not under the authority of Mr. Williamson. 

After having humored the whole matter, until some decisive 
measures became necessary, Mr. Willinmsnn visited his refractory 
colony, taking with him from Canandaigua, his friend Thomas Morris, 
determined to have some reform. He had a house at Williams- 
burg, then occupied by James Miller, where he kept a desk contain- 
ing all his papers that had reference to that locality ; and tlierc he and 
his friend took up their quarters.* Sending for Berezy he had an 
interview with him, which ended by displacing him as an agent, 
and forbidding him to exercise any authority over the Germans. 
Calling the Germans together, he mformed them of their new rela- 
tions, and proposed measures of further assistance to them, condi- 
tioned upon their going tb work, and trying to help themselves. At 
first they were disposed to listen to his proposals, but the superior 
influence of Berezy soon prevailed, and riot and mutiny succeeded. 
Sunday intervened, and Mr. Williamson says, " Berezy and the 
minister were all day pow-wowing in every house in the settlement." 
Monday came, and Mr. Williamson found the (piarters of .himself 
and friends besieged. The Germans had collected in a body, and 
under the influence of Berezy were making extravagant demands 
as the terms of peace, and a continuance in the colony. Mr. Wil- 
liamson retreated into the house with his friends Morris, Johnstone, 
and several others, in all, a force vastly inferior to the refractory 
colonists. " Driven into a corner between two writing desks" says 
Mr. Williamson, " I had luckily some of my own people near me, 
who were able to keep the most savage and daring of the Germans 
ofl; though the cry was to lay hold of me. Nothing could equal 
my situation, but some of the Parisian scenes. For an hour and a 
half I was in this situation, every instant expecting to be torn to 
pieces." Berezy finding the storm he had raised, raging too vio- 

•Thortwlcr nhonU iindorMt.'uul tliiit Wiriiarnsliurt,', tlui sifo of <his oarlv German 

Snr'^' 'f ,T ' p'"' A'-' "", '"Tr -V""^'; ''' t''" " Hornutage ; " U.y inwnt fknn and n"" 
wcncti ol Uic liDii. Cuarlos II. Carroll. 



lently, quelled it ; but rapine took the place of personal assault. The 
cattle upon the premises were driven ofT, or killed to furnish a feast 
for a general carousal. The mutiny and plunder lasted for several 
days ; there being no authority or superior force to quell it. At 
one time, the physician of the colony, who had taken sides with 
Mr. Williamson became the object of the fiercest resentment. He 
was seized, and in attempting to rescue him, Messrs. Morris and 
Johnstone were assaulted and their lives placed in jeopardy ; but 
finally made their escape. 

Present in all the affray was Mr. Richard Cuyler, then acting as 
Mr. Williamson's clerk. He was dispatched to Albany with a 
requisition upon Gov. George Clinton, for a force sufficient to quell 
the riot and apprehend the rioters. Berezy with a few of the Ger- 
mans, departed for Philadelphia, for the double purpose of escaping 
arrest and enlisting Mr. Robert Morris on their side. Gov. Clinton 
issued an order to Judah Colt, who had been appointed Sheriff" of 
the new county of Ontario, commanding him to summon a posse 
for the arrest of the rioters. A posse eq'ual in numbers with the 
German colonists was no easy matter at that early period of settle- 
ment. But fortunately some boat crews and new settlers, had just 
arrived at Bath. Thoy made a forced night march through the 
woods, and joined by others, succeeded in arresting those who had 
been foremost in the riot. They were taken to Canandaigua and 
light fines imposed ; the principal object being the assertion of the 
supremacy of the laws. Unable to pay the fines, they were hired 
out to new settlers in Canandaigua and the vicinity, to earn the 
money. Their defence, was some of the earhcst practice of the 
late Gen. Vincent Matthews. 

Berezy, going from Philadelp*hia to New York, put the Germans 
and himself under the auspices of a German benevolent association, 
who had made arrangements with Gov. Simcr ?, for settling emi- 
grants at what is now Toronto, and in the townships of Markham. 
They went down and encamped at the mouth of the Genesee river, 
and were temporarily the early neighbors of VVm. Hencher. When 
the boats came from Canada to take them away, a boatman was 
drowned in the river. His was the first death and funeral, after 
settlement commenced, in all of what is now Monroe county. 

Another formidable attempt at colonization from Europe, did not 
progress so far, or rather took another direction. Donald Stewart, 



an enterprising Scotcliman, of " Achnaun by Appin, in Argyle.hire " 
soon after the purchase of the Association, had organized a colony 
m his neighborhood, the destination of which was Cumberland N 
Carohna. He received a proposition from Mr. Colquhoun too late 
fo change the-r direction, the colonists having embarked and sailed 
but following them soon, Mr. Stewart came to explore the Genesee 
country, with the intention, if suited witii i!, to bring his colony 
here. He spent several weeks traveling on horseback, with Mr 
U ilhamson, got a small specimen of the ague and fever; the new 
country m its primitive roughness, had to him a forbidding look • he 
turned his back upon it rather in ill humor.* There were many 
other schemes of the proprietors in London, and J\f r. Wil]iam<^on to 
colonize this region, none of which succeeded, except that of the 
persevering, and finally eminently successful one, at Caledonia 
Springs. And here it may well be observed, that in reference gen- 
erally to founding new settlements in the United States, the AssvDci 
ates in London, and their agent here, had many impracticable views 
at first, of which they became finally convinced, by a pretty ex 
pensive experience. , - f j' 

The getting the Norlhumbe^'and road through ; the commence- 
mentof a settlement at Williamsburg, and the building of a saw 
mill on the Canascraga creek, near the present town of Ossian oc- 
cupied the business season of 1792. Mr. Williamson himself iiav- 
ing settled his family at Northumberland, was upon the move • 
visited New lork, Baltimore; travelled in the interior of Mary' 
land and Pennsylvania, beating up for emigrants; and explored 
pretty thoroughly the whole region over which his agency extended 

In tlie spring of 1793, operations were commenced at Bath f 

* A e;oo(l anecdote panic of it however, wliirli it is sni() 1,-uI on,>,oH- .1 
his dislike of 11,0 eountiy. Threadi,,.^ tl e rorest oif 1 0,1 ^"^T )vV'' ^" "^'''^ 

his eo,niK„,io„ wove a(tr;lc,edl,y the ;H,is;"/^S,""-nr^^M^^^^ 

p.. oi:e'h:^u:'i;:Sn;::tt ^:i:l::ikj!;^ti- ••?•' r '^^ 

Highland ('olony, was not early intHHliiwd into lhi,s reL'ion The read rim 1 ^ 
h.irn,i.-.ed, that the i,artj were viewing Clifton Springs? ^ " ''-'"^'' '^'" ^'■'"' 

t Name from ttio daughter of Si-- Wn,. ruUncy. who was Couutc«s of Bath. 



Two boats with workmen, provisions &c., came up the Susquehan- 
nah to Tioga Point, where they left one boat and half the load of 
the other, and reached Bath April 15, 1793. Mr. Williamson ar- 
rived via Northumberland road, two days after. Some shantees 
were thrown up, a village plat survpyed, a log land office was built ; 
and during the season, about twenty other log buildings were erect- 
ed. As would be said in this later day of refinement in language, 
the Pioneers had a "distinct view of the elephant." Provisions 
failed, and they were at one time three days without food ; as they 
cleared away the forest, the fever and ague, as it was wont to do, 
walked into the opening, and the new comers were soon freezing, 
shaking, and then burning with fever, in their hastily constructed 
cabins. It was Mr. Williamson's introduction into the hardships 
and [)rivations of the wilderness. " He would lay in his hut, with 
his feet to the fire, and when the cold chills of ague came on, call 
for some one to lie close to his back, to keep him warm." To other 
improvements during the year, at Bath, Mr. Williamson added a 
log tavern, which was opened and kept by John Metcalf Bath 
having been fixed upon as the centre of all the southern portion of 
the Associates' purchase, farther improvements were commenced. 
Mr. Williamson built a saw mill and a grist mill ; emigrants from 
Pennsylvania and Maryland, soon began to be attracted there. It 
became the permanent residence of Mr. Williamson. The Dulte, 
Liancourt, who visited him in the summer of 1795, says: — "The 
habitation of the Captain consists of several small houses, formed of 
trunks of trees and joiners' work, which at present forms a very ir- 
regular whole, but which he intends soon to improve. His way of 
living is simple, neat and good ; every day we had a joint of fresh 
meat, vegetables and wine. We met with no circumstances of 
pomp or luxury, but found good ease, humor and plenty." Perhaps 
it is the fairest eulogium I can pass upon his free and easy urbanity 
to say, that all the time of our stay, he seemed as much at his ease 
as if we had not been present. He transacted all his business in 
our presence, and was actively employed the whole day long. We 
were present at his receiving persons of different ranks and des- 
criptions, with whom the appartment he allots to business is generally 
crowded. He received them all v/ith the same attention, civility 
and good nature. They came to him prepossessed with a certain 
Confidence in him, and they never leave him dissatisfied. He is at 



ir I 

all times ready to converse witli any who have business to transact 
with him. He will break off 

a conversation with his friends, or 

sake of dispatching those who wish 

even get up from dinner for 
to speak to him. 

h\ the spring of 1791, improvements were commenced at Geneva, 
the first and principal one being the erection of the Geneva Hotel. 
It was comi)lcted in December, and opened with a grand ball, which 
furnished a memorable epoch in the early history of the Genesee 
country. The Hotel was talked of far and wide as a wonderful en- 
terprise ; and .such it really was. Even now, after the lapse of fifty- 
six years, when fine hotels have arisen in all of our cities and prin- 
cipal villages, the okl Williamson Hotel, as it is often called, in its fine 
location, with its large open park in front, is ranked as one of the 
first class. Imagine how it was when it had no competitors in all 
the region west of Utica, save perhaps three or Ibur moderate sized 
framed taverns ; when log taverns were generally the order of the 
day. It was an Astor House then ; and even this comparison falls 
short of conveying an idea of its then comparative magnitude. Mr. 
Williamson wrote to his principals, proposing such "a house, and 
urged that as it would stand in the doorway or entrance to the 
Genesee country, it should be respectable ; so designed as to make 
a favorable impression ; and urged beside, that such a house, where 
all the comforts of a good English inn could be realized, would 
mvite respectable people to the country. And so perhaps it did. 
How many readers of these early reminiscences, will remember 
the house, the landlord, and all belonging to that early halting place, 
in the long and dreary journles that used to be made. Blended with it 
in memory, is the old stage coach ; chilled and drowsy with long night 
rides, over hubs or poached clay roads, there would be the'^smart 
crack of the driver's whip, the trundling of the wheels upon a stone 
pavement, the squaring up to the door, the getting out and stretching 
of almost torpid limbs ; the ushering in to well warmed and com- 
fortable apartments, the smell and the taste of smoking steak and 
hot coffee, and other "creature comforts," that it will not do to 
speak of now. Your modern travellers know nothing of the ex- 
tremes of pain and pleasure of the old fashioned way of traveling 
from Albany to Bufl'alo. For landlord to his new Hotel, Mr. Wib 
liamson selected Thom;..; Powell, whom he had known in London, 
connected with the celebrated " Thatched Cottage, the rct^uH of 



to transact 
friends, or 
who wish 

-t Geneva, 
va Hotel. 
»nll, wliich 

der'ul an- 
sa ot'fifty- 
and prin- 
in its fine 
ne of the 
lors in all 
'ate sized 
er of the 
ison falls 
ide. Mr. 
3use, and 
!e to the 
to make 
^e, where 
:1, would 
IS it did. 
ng place, 
d with it 
'ng night 
le smart 

a stone 
id com- 
3ak and 
t do to 
the ex- 
[r. Wil- 
sort of 

statc.^imen, politicians and wits." * He had previously emigrated to 
this country, and opened a house at Lansirigburg. 

Although Mr. Williamson's house was at Bath, a large proportion 
of his time was spent at Geneva, attending to mailers connected 
with the northern division of the purchase. The company that he 
drew around him, made a very considerable business for the new 
hotel ; and it was the early home of the young men without fami- 
lies, who located at Geneva; the principal stopping place for enu- 
grants, who could afford the comforts of a good iim. Under the 
auspices of Reed and Ryckman, Joseph Annin and licnjamin Bar- 
ton had surveyed a small village plat, which was superseded under 
Mr. Williamson's auspices by a new, cnlrM-t^ed survey, generally 
as now indicated, except that the new survey, i\ir. Willian)son"s 
plan, contemplated that the whole town should be built up frjnting 
the Lake; the space between the mam street and the Lake, was 
intended for terraced parks and gardens. Ii a few words, Geneva 
is now, though beautiful in all its appointments, more upon the utili- 
tarian order, than Mr. Williamson intended. He had seen the 
original in his travels upon the continent, and associating Seneca 
Lake with " Lake Leman," had in view an imitation, in a wilder- 
ness of the new world. In reference to this as well as other of his 
projections, his ardent and sanguine temperament lad him to sup- 
pose that villages and village imprfivements, to a considerable extent, 
could precede a general cultivation of the soil. Experience has 
shown that they must follow by slow steps after it. 

The Hotel was but a part of Mr. Williamson's enterprises at 

Before the State had acknowledged the correctness of the new 
pre-emption line, as in the case of the site of Geneva, and Reed 
and Ryckman, patents had been issued, covering nearly the whole 
of " the Gore," Mr. Williamson, through the agency of Mr. John 
Johnstone, having purchased all the patents, had so fortified 
the claim of his principals, that he had ventured upon exercising 
ownership; though title was yet an open question. In March, 
1705, while a bill was pending in the legislature, providing for run- 
ning a third line, by the Surveyor General, and if the one run by 
Mr. Ellicott should prove correct, to give the associates other lands 

* Mr. Powell became an early stajro propiictor. After keepiiiir the Hotel for many 
years, lie removed to Sclieuuclutiy, uiid was succeeded by Lia broLher, Win. rowcll. 




in lieu of those that had been patented upon the Gore ; Philhp 
Schuyler introduced amendments, which prevailed, makinrr it dis- 
cretionary with the Surveyor General, allnvvins Irm to w.-dve the 
runnmg of a new line, if he satisfied himself that Mr. Ellicott's 
Ime was correct; and leave it to the commissioners of the land 
office to arrange matters between the holders of patent?) and the as- 
sociates, or Mr. Williamson, holding as he did, by purchase, most 
of the patents, to perfect the title to "the Gore," nearly 84,000 
acres. As an equivolent for what he had paid in the purchase of 
patents, the commissioners of the land office conveyed to him about 
the same quantity of land embraced in the patents, off from the 
military tract, in what is now Wolcott and Galen, in Wavne 

The reader will have seen that the first location of " The Friend'' 
and her followers, was upon « The Gore." Their titles were all 
confirmed by Mr. Williamson, upon terms generally satisfactory. 

Sodus was the next site chosen for the foundation of a settle- 
ment—or in Aict, for the founding of a commercial villa^ro —not 
to say city. In all Mr. Williamson's plans for settling The coun- 

wl.oa,e nm.w,n thvHmiTtT^? w' *'?-" "PP?'-t""i'y. ^« I't thee know ««; wishes, 
t" ri , " , tffsS ' /v {;""n<l's «<^ttk.Mu.Ht in Jonisaler,,, i„ the coiuUy of 
fr eS Wi h s . fS w/ r ^ "'■''■ ^^'' ^'"^ ^"I'S'^'i'^^'s. ^vish lo take deeds iVora 
Our desires kX e w I "V l^Vrov^'T'^t.^i ,,„, rather than any other person. 
^1.0 are on ihe hmd ""' ^''^'"'" "^ '^'" '^""'^ '" '^"^ "^'^''^ P"-^"" ^ul to us, 

Ehiatlian Botsford, 

Daniel Iiiirraljani, 

Richard Matthews, 

Ehiathan'ord, jr., 

Asaliel Stnne, 

Samuel Doolittle, 

Jdlin Davis, 
- Benedict Robinson, 

pu^tt "■ ;St'"k '""] ?"!?''='; ''"\~ -^'"thcrsof the Friend, ..thesame 
out reserve- _''?t it 1,1 -1 ^'?']*'"," ^^ 'Hi.t'"^"" " iiito hie family atlairs, with- 

Beiiajah Botsford 
Eleazor Ingrahatii, 
Solomon In(^riJiain, 
Richard Smith, 
Abel Botsford, 
Enoeli Malin, 
Williatn Davis, 
John Briggs, 

Philo In^aljam, 
Elisha Inf,'rahain, 
Samuel I'arsons, 
Jonathan Davis, 
E\iy,)li Malin, 
Thos. Hathaway, 
Mary Aldrieh." 



try, and his projections of internal improvements, laid from time to 
time before his principals, he had looked to the Conhocton, the 
Caniste, Tioga and Susquehannah rivers, as the avenues to market 
from the southern district of the Genesee purchase ; and to Balti- 
more as its commercial mart. With those views, he had founded 
Bath. * Looking to Lake Ontario, the Oswego river, Oneida Lake. 
Wood Creek, the Mohawk and the Hudson river, and the St. Law- 
rence, as avenues to the New York and Montreal markets, for the 
northern district of the purchase, he selected Sodus Bay as the 
commercial depot. 

Early in the winter of 1793, he determined upon improvements 
there, and in the spring of '04, he had roads cut out from Palmyra 
and Phelpstown, to get access to the spot from those points. It 
was his first appearance in the Lake Ontario region, and his pre- 
sence there, with his surveyors, road makers, builders, and all the 
retinue necessary to carry out his plans, created a new era — in- 
spired new hopes with the scattered backwoods settlers. It had 
looked before he came, as if for long years, no one would be bold 
enough to penetrate tlie dark, heavy forests, that in a wide belt, were 
stretched along the shores of the Lake. They entertained before 
no hopes of realizing for years, any better facilities for trans- 
portation to market, than was afforded by Ganargwa Creek, f the 
outlet of Canandaigua Lake, and Clyde river. He had preceded 
the enter['rise by a written announcement of the plan of oper- 
ations : — It contemplated the survey of " a town between Salmon 
Creek and Great Sodus Bay, and a spacious street, with a large 
square in the centre, between the Falls on Salmon Creek and the 
anchorage in the Bay, and mills are to be built at the Falls on Sal- 
mon Creek." He adds : — " As the harbor of Great Sodus is ac- 
knowledged to be the finest on Lake Ontario, this town, in the con- 
venience of the mills and extensive fisheries, will command advan- 
tages unknown to the country, independent of the navigation of 

• It shiiiild be (ib>c'rvo(l, tliiit Ik- ronteniplatcil ilio iinpvovotneiit of t]w iiavii^atioii 
of those livers, and projuctuil a caiud to connect tiie lioga and Delaware rivers, in 
order to reach Philatlelphia. 

tMud Creek, until rec(ii\tly. Tlie old name was Mended witli tin- lecnllection of 
staj^nant waters, liof^s, chills and i'ever.s. When its whole a,spect liad been rlian!i;ed by 
tlie hiind of ini])rovt'inent, and it became even picturesque and bcatitii'ul in its inean- 
derintrs throUi,'li ('idtivated ticlds, and a rural sc( nery seldom i quailed, the dwellers in 
its valley werc^ enabled, witli the help of Lewis Morgan, PJsq , of Rochester, to couiu 
ul itaancieat Scuecu name, wliich they adopted. 




I> I 

the Great Lake, and the St. Lawrence." The town was surveyed 
by Joseph Colt. Tlie plan was as indicated above. The in-lot3 
contained a quarter of an acre, and the out-lots ten acres. The 
whole was upon a scale ofmagnificoncc illy suited to that primitive 
period; and yet, perhaps, justified by thru pr'^poctive events; 
and more than all, by the capacious ar.d hcnutiliil Bay, the best 
natural harbor upon our whole chain of Lakes, a view of which, 
even now, e.xcites surprise that it has not, ere this, more than reali- 
zed the always sanguine expectations of Mr. Williamson. 

The in-lots in the new town, were ofFered for one hundred dol- 
lars; the out-lots, for four dollars per acre ; the farming; l.iuds in 
all the neighborhood, at one dollar fifty cents per acic. Thomas 

Little and MolFat, were the local agents. A tavern house was 

erected at a cost of over $5000, and opened by Moses and Jabez 
Sill. * JMiJLs were erected at the Falls on Salmon Creek ; a plea- 
sure boat was placed upon .the Bay ; and several other improve- 
ments made. In roads, surveys, buildings, die, over 820,000 was 
expended in the first two years. 

The first difficulty encountered was the ague and fever, that early 
incubus that brooded over all of Pioneer enterprise, upon the Lake 
shore. When the sickly season came, agents, mechanics and labor- 
ers, could only work upon " well days. " Mr. Williamson soon be- 
gan to realize that there was something beside the " romantic and 
beautiful, " about the "Bay of Naples" he had found hid away in 
the forests of the Genesee country. And another trouble came. 
DO^ See British invasion of the Genesee country, at Sodus. 

Soon after Mr. Williamson had perfected his title to the Gore, 
the junction of the Canandaigua out-let and Ganargwa creek, the 

fine flats, hemmed in by hills and gentle swells of upland the 

facilities aflbrded for navigation with light craft, — attracted his at- 
tention. Fancying the outlet and the creek to be miniature repre- 
sentations of the Rhone and the Sayone, and struck with a coinci- 
dence of landscapes, he bestowed upon the location the name of 
Lyons. lie had been preceded here by some of the earliest Pioneers 
of the Genesee country. In May, 1789, a small colony consisting 

*Mosos Sill (lied in D;ui,svillo, in 1849. Jalicz Sill died at Wilkcsbarre, iti 1844. 
Th(! lattdi-was an oarly pmjirictor at I'lidcaiix, " IJrudiidck's Bay." His son, Uaiiiol 
Sill, is the forlutiaU; Caliioi'iiia adventurer from DansviJIe. 

IJ^* For Konu! .•icconiit of the Sill family. Bce History of Wyoraliig, and Mrs. Ellott's 
" Woraon of the lluvolutiou." 



of twelve persons, were piloted up the Mohawk, and by the usual 
water route, by Weinple, the Indian trader who has been mentioned 
in connection with the Rev. Mr. Ivirkland. Arriving at what was 
then the principal head of navigation, especially for batteaux of any 
considerable size, they located and erected log huts half a mile south 
of the present village of Lyons, whore James Dunn lately resided. 
The heads of families, were : — Nicholas Stanscll, William Stansell, 
and a brother in-law, John Featherly. They had been inured to 
iiardships, toil and (I;inger, as border settlers upon the Mohawk, and 
in Otsego county ; Wm. Stansell had been to this region in Sulli- 
van's expedition. Their nearest neighbors were Decker Robinson 
and tlie Oaks family ; the same season, a few families, located at 
Palmyra. The Stansells and Featherly may be regarded as the 
Pioneers of all the northern part of Wayne county. They ground 
their corn in a small hand mill "until a German named Baer put up 
a log mill where Waterloo now is. " Jointly with the Pioneers of 
Phelps, they opened a woods road to that neighborhood and in the 
direction of the mill at Waterloo. The father of the Stansells died 
in the earliest years, and was buried in the absence of any funeral 
rites ; there being no one to conduct them. A few weeks previous 
to Wayne's victory, the early Pioneers became alarmed ; made up 
their minds they must flee, or see a second edition of the scenes 
that tliey had passed through upon the Mohawk ; the old batteaux 
that brought them into the wilderness was re-corked and pitched to 
take them out of it ; they were upon the point of starting, when news 
came that '• Mad Anthony " had humbled the western nations, and 
smothered the llame that had threatened to break out in the Gene- 
see country. These early adventurers depended much upon the 
" products of the forest ; " not such as comes under that head in 
our modern canal statistics; but upon wild game; deer principally, 
Nicholas Stansell was a hunter, and would go out and kill from 
eight to ten deer in a day. Nicholas Stansell, a surviving son of 

Note. — This curly colony hronslit in with tlicin some ling,s. and the rosult, with 
other i^iniilar oiic-j thiit will bo noted, coiifinnR Hk; fact that oui-'doniostioatcd ho^ will 
if tnriu'd into the forest, to share it with wild atiinials alor.c, gu hack U> his primitive 
condition in one, or two years, at farthest. A Iwar, of this primitive stock changed 
ni foiiii, liecame a wild racer, liis tusks grew to a frightful length ; he became more 
than a match fi>r bears and wolves ; and finally a terror to the new settlers, until he 
Wius hunted and shot. The first progeny of tliis primitive stock when caught could 
not be tallied, oiid geuurull^ had £u be hunted like otlier game. 




one of the two Pioneer brotlicrs, who now resides in Arcadia 
Wayne county, says : — " After our first stock of provisions was 
exhausted, we saw hard times ; got out of corn once ; went and 
liourrht of Onondaga Indians. For days we were without any pro- 
visions other than what the forest, the streams, and our cows aflor- 
ded. We eat milk and greens. Venison and fish we could always 
have in plenty. My father hardly ever missed when he went out 
after a deer. Salmon, bass, pickerel, speckled trout, ducks and 
pigeons, were in abundance. " 

A small patch of corn and potatoes, raised by the Stansells and 
Featherly, on the old Dorsey farm, in 17S9, were the first crops 
raised in Wayne county. 

Nicholas Stansell died in 1817 ; his surviving sons are, William 
- Stansell, of Arcadia, and George vStansell, who lives a mile south 
of Newark. John Featherly died a few years since in the town 
of Rose, aged 80 years. Nicholas Stansell, changing his residence 
in 1800, l)ecame the proprietor of lands upon which the village of 
Lockville has grown up. 

Mr. Williaiuson commenced operations at Lyons, in the summer 
of 171)1. He made Charles Cameron his principal local agent. 
Reserving nearly a thousand acres, which was afterwards sold to 
Judge Dorsey, a house and barn were built for Mr. Cameron; the first 
framed house in that region.* Mr. Cameron had the village surveyed, 
and built a store house and distillery. Before the close of 1790, 
Henry Tower, as Mr. Williamson's agent, had erected and com- 
pleted wiiat was long known as " Tower's Mills," at Alloway. 

The mills must have been of more than ordinary magnitude, for 
that early period, as the author observes that the cost was over 
twelve thousand dollars. In addition to other improvements, Mr. 
Cameron cleared land, a>id cunnnenced making a farm. 

Next to Sodus Bay, Mr. Williamson had regarded Prideaux 
(Braddock's) Bay as a favorable position upon the Lake. He made 
some surveys there for a town, but did little towards startins; it. 
In his correspondence with his principals in London, he often men- 
tioned the mouth of Genesee River, but not in a way to indicate a 
high oi)inion of its k)cality. His aim was to improve only such spots 
as were surrounded bv the lands he held in charge. Those nearest 

It is uuw !^ta^ldiul^ in a tolerable state of prcsen'atiou, on the bank of the outlet 

riiELPs AJND goeiiam's pukciiase. 


the mouth of the River and the Falls, had been sold by Thelps and 
Gorham, before their sale to the London Associates. In 1794 he 
visited the Falls, Prideaux Bay, and spent a day c"- ;•'•. with Wm. 
Hcnchcr. He soon after purchased of Samuel l!. Ogde;, the Allan 
Mill, and the Hundred Acres, with a view i -> con. ..jncing some 
improvements upon the present site of the cit' -A' V chester. Al- 
lan had sold the property to Benjamin Barton, sen o ■ ; ,nd Barton to 
Of];dcn. DCT See deed, or title paper, in Library of Rochester 
Athenaeum and Mechanic's Association. At tlit fima of William- 
son's purchase, the mill, a frail structure origuially, with no cus- 
tomers to keep it in motion, had got much out of repair. He 
expended upon it some five or six hundred dollars— put it in tolera- 
ble rei)air— but unfortunately there were no customers. It was 
dilTicult of access from the older settlements, and mills more con- 
venient for them, were soon erected. The purchase, repair, and 
sale of the mill and mill tract, was about the extent of Mr. Wil- 
liamson's enterprises at the " Falls of the Genesee River," where 
the aspect of things in that early day, was any thing but encouraging. 
In 1798, a party of emigrants from Perthshire, Scotland, cmfgra. 
ted to America, landing at New York, and coming west as far as 
Johnstown, IMontgomery county, halted there to determine on some 
permanent location. Mr. Williamson hearing of the arrival of his 
countrymen, made a journey to see them. He found them poor 
in purse — with nothing to pay for lands — and but little even for 
present subsistence ; but they came from the 

Land of the forest and tlie rock, 

Of dark Ijlue hike and mighty river. 
Of mountains reared aloft, to mock 

The storm's career, the lightning's shock ; 

.X r <^^'".''^^''">' '""y '"> r'-osumod to bo the first business letter that was ever 
written fn.m tlie site ul the present eity of ]{„chost<.r. Christopher Du-au nwried a 
sister ot Lbenezer Allan, and was put in charge of the mill by him : 

„, .„ ^ , , ^, i'ALLS Of t^EXESEE, Aiig. 9, 1791. 

The null erected by Ebenezer Allan, which I am informed vou have purchased is 
n a bad situation luuch out of repair, and unless atientiou is'paid to itTwiU so„n Its voyage to the Lake. I have resided here for .several ve;n ., aud ke t U ehTnd 
war, , w.thout ee e.r recompense ; and am please.l to hear *t hat t has t; lien So the 
bajuts o a gentleman who is able to repair ii', and whose character is sue 1 a 1 firm y 
x.heve he wdl not allow an old man to suffer without rew.anl lor his exertions I w2 
lo have you come, or send some one to take care of the mill, as my sit^^ at ou is S 
as makes it necessary soon to remove. I am sir, with respect your mos 

OiiAiiLKa WiLLi.-iiisox, Esq, 

obedient humbl 

e servant. 




they were rich in courage, in a spirit of perseverence, in habits of 
industry ; in all the elements that Ilk in the wilderness, and success 
in It, requn-cd. Mr. Williamson became to them not onlv a patroon, 
but a benefactor. "A Scot had met a brithcr Scot." ' He offered 
them a favorite loration, in the neighborhood of the " Big Springs," 
(Caledonia) ; - land at three dollars per acre, payable in wheat It 
SIX shillings per bushel ; a reasonable pay day; and besides, to fur- 
nish them with provisions until they could help themselves. Four 
of their number were sent out to view the lands; were pleased 
with the allotment that Mr. Williamson had made ; on their return, 
met him on his way from Geneva to Canandaigua ; he drew up a 
writing on the road, and the bargain was thus closed. In March, 
1799, while there was yet sleighing, the Scotch adventurers came 
from Johnstown to the "Big Springs."* Those who first came 
were:— Peter Campbell and wife, Malcolm .MLaren and wife, 
John M'Naughton and wife; and Donald M"Vcan and Hugh 
M'Dormid, single men. In the fall of the same year, they were 
joined Ly their countrymen, John M'Vean, John M'Pherson, 
John Anderson, Duncan Anderson, all single men "but M'Vean! 
During the next year they were joined by Donald M'Piiersoni 
Donald Anderson, Alexander Thompson, and their families. Those 
whose names have been given, except Thompson and M'Vean, 
had crossed the ocean in the same ship. They are to be regarded 
as constituting the primitive settlers at Caledonia, though for s°cveral 
years after, other of their countrymen joined them. 

The Springs, being on the great trail from Tioga point to Fort 
Niagara, had long been a favorite camping ground.f Previous to 
the Scotch advent. Fuller and Peterson, had become squatters there, 
built log houses, and entertained travelers. This furnished the 
Scotch settlers a temporary shelter. John Smith, one of Mr. Will- 
iamson's surveyors, soon arrived and surveyed their lands, so j^lan- 
ning the surveys that each allotment would have a front upon the 
streams. Log houses were soon erected in the primitive manner, 
small patches of summer crops planted ; and the Scotch settlers 

™no Vm '''" ^V, ""»!'',:■ *^ *'''' hcaVdy, even a.s far back ns (he first Engl Lsh occu- 
pancy „f Nia-Mva. Mi-. W illianison gavo it thu new niuno of Caledonia. 

t Au old C.'inrulian cniifrrant, and a frequent traveler upon the trail abont the close 

1 Id l";\"'"".""' ""r ''"' ?"'r''"i^' "."^^'^^^^ '^ fr'-'l"'^"^, that the firen of one party 
would be burning when anulhor arrived, * ' 

PnELP3 a™ aORDAJl's PCRCnASE. 269 

Zil^ZTr"'"'; "'""°' "™""'"'" "'"■ '""''' '--' «s--t 

Mel";, I '"",'"' r'"''"' ^"'" """" •" Alexander 

lor supplung some provisions. Wheat was procured at Dans 

vile and ground nuhe Wads,vor,hs' ml at Co, esus and 

pork was drawn from the store at Williamsbur. Mr W 1 

^an,»„„ ako furnished them with some cows. And' how dM™ 

manage for yo,„. early team work ? was the author', enouir of'the 

bv hi t , " f'-^'^^-S'""". "°w in his 80,h vear.. „ Lnded 

and ro.;';":;?"' """"'f, °^™'- hi^gamersfilled to overflowing, 

"C o steX" Ti''"'^""'' P™-i-S'"'-e abundance 

rive,' it T "; '"' "■"' "« """^'^ -^P"". f" ^«'l«-x on the 

pu,ts h! e "T "? :"'^'"='' »»" «fty »-- for school 
r,r ,./ ["^ "' ""^ *P""S' •■' S"^' '-""I S'"" mill, which 

This is so far as Mr. Williamson was directly connected with the 
P.oaecr settlers at Caledonia. Their after progress will be m n*d 
w,d, event., „a,-ra.od in succccling portions of the work " 

The reader of the present d.ay will smile at the idea of ■■ Fairs " 
and Race grounds ,„ back woods settlements, at a time when 
settlers generally had but just made small openings in the forest anS 
stood n,o,.e ,n need of log causeways over streams, boa ds fo ter 
blr:;- 'tr '"J'rr'^^- 'h- of-o^ dorses or imp,, td 

»eef,ha „ tti "r"l T^"'"" "''-"'«"- Scotchman had 
seen ihQse thmgs m England and Scotland, and supposed them 

ments, and as , will be observed he had ulteiior object, in view 
mprcssed, the idea that the region, the settlemen of whic To 
«a cndcavoiang to promote, was nearly all it had m-„ved to ),! 

cnlhusi.islic even inhiseflrats- h„l,.,t i ^ '"' ■ 
niselloits, he had made up hjs mind that the 

Uio hi„ l„„,„„ i]i,„h Cli„ml„.,l ,"„".„», :""l,,'}^'- ■'!';'•"'"'; ":«• ll» wiaon-of 



Genesee country need only be seen to be appreciated. In travelling 
through Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, he had endeavored 
to bring niei- of wealth and enterprise to view the country, but had 
generally failed. It was too secluded, too far off from civilization, 
too much threatened with Indian wars ; liad in it too much of the 
elements of chills and fevers, to be attractive, to men who were not 
under the necessity of encountering such formidable difficulties. 
But he had discovered that those he wanted to come and see the 
country were fond of races and holiday sports, and he resolved upon 
instituting them in ad<lition to the attractions he had held out. In 
1794 he had laid out a race course and fair grounds, near the pres- 
ent residence of the Hon. Charles Carroll, on the forks of the Can- 
ascraga creek and Genesee river, and in the fall of that year was 
had there a fair and races. Extensive preparations were made 
for the event. Mr. Williamson's anxiety to have all things in read- 
iness is manifested in a letter to Mr. Wadsworth. He says ; — "As 
you have manifested much interest in the exhibition at Williams- 
burg, do, my friend, attend to it, and push the getting a bridge from 
Starr's or thereabouts, to the flats, in time ; Mr. Morris will give 
£10 and I will give £lO. The appointed day came, and there was 
a gathering from all the new settlements of the Genesee country ; 
from as far east as Utica; and of sportsmen and land explorers from 
Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The two small taverns of 
Starr and Fowler, at Williamsburg, and the deserted log houses of 
the Germans, were vastly inadequate to the accommodation of the 
crowd. The few buildings at Geneseo, and all the log tenements of 
the neighborhood were put in requsition, and yet the Fair ground 
had 10 be an encampment. In the language of an intbrmant of the 
author, who was present : — " Here met for business and pleasure, 
men from all parts of the purchase ; stock was exhibited and pur- 
chases made. Here also were seen for the first time, the ' ^liday 
sports of " merry Englnnd, " such as greasing a pigs tail ; ..imbing 
a greased pole, &c. " Care had been taken for the gratification of 
visitors, to have a general attendance of the Indians; and as it was 
just after Wayne's victory, it was perhaps very wisely c:onsidered 
that it would help them in their then growing inclinations to be at 
peace and cultivate the acquaintance of their new neighbors. They 
were present in great numbers, and joim rl in the sports with great 
relish. Their own foot races and ball plays, were added to the 



amusements. It all went oft' well ; all were pleased ; the southern- 
ers and Pennsylvanians vvere delighted with the entertainment and 
with the country ; made favorable reports when they returned home ; 
and with many of them it led finally to emigration. The Fair and 
Races were held next year at Williamsburg, and at Bath and Dans- 
ville, in a few successive years ; Mr. Williamson had himself some 
fine race horses ; and in the way of oxen, such was the magnitude 
of his operations in different portions of the purchase, that at one 
time he had eighty yoke wintering on the Genesee flats. 

In addition to the enterprises of Mr. Williamson, that have been 
named, he was active in procuring the passage of the act for laying 
out the old State Road from Fort Schuyler to Geneva, and was 
one of the commissioners for locating it. In 1798, when Mr. Elli- 
cott had commenced the survey of the Holland Purchase, he joined 
him in making what was at first called the "Niagara Road," west 
of Genesee river. He made the road from the river to Col. Gan- 
son's, within a mile of Le Roy, expending upon it $2,000. * He 
assisted in making the road from Lyons to Palmyra ; from " Hope- 
ton to Townscnds;" from " Seneca Falls to Lyon's Mills;" from 
" Cashong to Hopeton." There are few of the primitive roads in 
Yates, Steuben, and the south part of Livingston, that he did not 
either make or assist in making. He built mills at Hopeton, ou 
the Hemlock Lake, and at Williamsburgh. He added to the hotel 
at Geneva, the "Mile I'oint House and Farm," on the bank of 
Seneca Lake, which he intended for a brother, the " Hopkins' House 
and Farm," and the " Mullender House and Farm," at the Old Castle. 
His enterprises at Williamsburg embraced an extensive farm which 

NoTF — Tlic"\Villianison Fair niul Raoes, " am .■uiionf; the cherished leniiiiisccuees 
oi the "oldest iidiabitaiits, " and in t'ael, it is uuly tlie oldcwt wlio survive to remem- 
ber them. Frolie, sports, recreation, witli the meii of that period, were tilings done in 
earnest liki- everything else they undertook, (ien. George M'Clure, an early I'ioneer 
at Batli, .low re.siding at j;igiii, Illinois, writing to liis old ti lend Charles Cameron, 
now of (Irceiie, Chenango eo., during the present year, savs in allu.sion to some liistor- 
icalreniiniscem>eshe is g:ithei'ing up: — " It wont doto tt-f of all of our doings in those 
ilays of ' Lang Syne. ' 1 jiresnnie you liave iiot forgot . 'lie night we spent in Dunn's 
hotel when we roasted th't cpiarterof beef." "Give i ," v>>... 'go and any thing else 
you can tliinkof This is a llouri.shiiig town. The Chioaj.,.. nd (i.-deim rail road 
jw.sses through it. Why cant you come and ni.'ike iis n visit. You can come all the 
way by steam. 1 am now in my MItli year, anil enjoy good lu'ilth. 

* In connection with this (-nterprise, theauth:! hassmne items of account, shomng 
the cost of thiiigH at that primitive period : - !• . ,st.f 18 to take a common waggon 
load from Cenevato Le Hoy. 2 bbls. of |)(,iK and 2 i)bls. of whiskey cost, deliverecl, 
(at (ianson's) ;«<l;>0. The only urind-stoiie in all the region, was one owned by the 
Indians at Cunawagus, and tlie uso of it cost $1,50. • 



aa&'ai- 'StuMii 

he called the " Hermitage Farm." Beside this, he had a larrre fonr 
on the Canascraga, a few miles below Dansville, and several farms 
in Steuben. 

Connected with all these improvements in the way of agencies, 
clerkships, mechanics, surveyors, road makers, &c., are many fami- 
liar Pioneer names: — Among them, those of William Wliite, John 
Swift, Jonathan Baker, "Capt. Follett," Reed, Buskirk, Fitzsim- 
mons. Woodward, Griswold, Henry Brown, Ralph T. Woods, Peter 
ShaeiTer, Fiancis Dana, Solomon Earl, Williams and Frazee, 
Gordon and Evans, James Bardin, Jonathan Woods, Francis Dana, 
Jonathan Mathews, B. Lazclere, David Miloer, William Mulhallen, 
Jacob Hartgiile, Elisha Brown, Leonard Beaty, Daniel Nicholson, 
Woods and Pratt, Thomas W^ilbur, Nathaniel Williams, Judah 
Colt, Caleb Seely, Thomas W. Williams, E. Hawkes, David Abbey, 
King and Howe, Joseph Merrill, Charles Dutcher, Jonatiian Bur- 
nett, Robert Burnett, Peter Lander, David Fish, Daniel Britain, 
E. Van Winkle, Gideon Dudley, Norman Merry, David Abbey, 
Obadiah Osburn, George Humphrey, Annanias Piatt, Wm. Angus, 
John Davis, Grieve and Moffatt, John Carey, James Beaumont, 
Joshua Laig, George Goundry, Elisha Pratt, Pierce Chamberlain, 
Joseph Roberts, Thomas Howe, David Dennett, Jeremiah Gregory, 
Darling Havens, Daniel P. Faulkner, Jonathan Harker, ifenry 
Bro\vn, Asa Simmons, Peter Rice, W. M'Cartney, James Hender- 
son, Rufus Boyd. These are but a moiety; i'or a considerable 
period, in one way and another, a large proportion of the new 
settlers were connected with his enterprises. 

He was a large subscriber to the Canandaigua Academy, to the 
first library established at Geneva, and aided in some of the first 
movements made in the Genesee country, in the cause of educa- 
tion. After he had extended his road Irom Northuinberland, Penn., 
to Williamsburg, on the Genesee river, he soon established a mail, 
on foot sometimes, and sometimes on horseback, between the two 
points, thus opening a communication with Philadelphia and Balti- 
more. A branch mail went to Canandaigua, Geneva and Sodus. 

■lu^,"^''"'""''^^'""^ ^'"' •'""' "^ "^'' I'l-ojortion of tlie Stntc Roiul west, of Romo, Mr. 
VVilliaiiisun WHS n.linn; iipnii Jahut Islnn.l, in cr.Min.'inv witli Jlo WitI Cliiiton wlio re- 
iiiiivkuiL' upnti llio KiMo,,|}incs.s <.f tliii roiid. siii.l \n .Mr. W.; — "If you liiul such ro.-uls 
to your ooiiiJtry I would iiiiiko you avisit." — "It cnii lie donowith propor e.\urtioiis" 
Mr. (huloii pioniiscd liini liis co-opcralioM. and afterwards assisted in procuring 
the nu'orporatioii .,f tlie Genera Turninke fonipany, in which the State Itoau was 
tiicrg<'d. Mr. I'hnicui's iirst visit to tliis region, -was in I&'IO. 




For several years after, a better understanding was had with Gov. 
Simcoe and his successors by means of these mail facilities ; they 
received their letters and papers from Europe and the Atlantic 
cities, through this primitive medium. It is presumed that he had 
something to do with putting on the first mail and passenger wagon 
from Albany to Canandaigua, as the agent at Albany procured and 
charged to him a wagon and harness for that purpose. 

Mr. Williamson was elected to the legislature from Ontario 
county, in 1700 ; and for three successive years, while in that capa- 
city, he contributed with great energy and perseverance to dif- 
fei'ent measures for the benefit of the region he represented, which 
was all of Western New York. He was a Judge of Ontario county ; 
in the early military organizations in what is now Steuben, equipped 
an independent company at his own expense ; and rose from the 
rank of Captain in his Britannic Majesty's service, to that of Col. 
of a regiment of backwoods militia in the Genesee country. 

The manufacture of pot and pearl-ash was prominent in his view, 
as one of the resources of the new country ; he gave some en- 
couragement to it ; but the means of transportation to market at 
that early day, was a great drawback upon the enterprise. * The 
manufacture of maple sugar was also an object of interest with 
him ; and in fact, was an anticipated source of great revenue to 
the country, by many of the earliest adventurers. They failed to 
appreciate the competition it had to encounter in the sugar-cane and 
cheap hibor. One of the earliest enterprises of Mr vYilliamson, 
was the improvement of the navigation of the Conhocton and 
Canisteo, the manufacture of lumber, and the carrying of it to Bal- 
timore, in periods of high water. 

In all this career of Pioneer enterprise that has been passed over, 
it may well be anticipated that much money was required. There 
was little money in the country — hardly enough for the purchase 
of the common necessaries of life — of course, not enough to make 
any considerable land payments. Lands liad to be sold upon credit, 
payments of instalments postponed ; most of his enterprises were 

* Writiiip: to Mr. Colqulunm snon after his aifival in tliis country, lie slak'fl that 
Judfjo Cddpor, I'atlicr of .1. i'VimiiiKiro Cdopcr, who was tlicn just foundii. ;• ;i settlo- 
iiKMit on llic <)tsc),'o Lak(>, was (greatly pronioliiif^ salcH of land and sottlt'niciit, by 
furnishing; Ihe new wltliTS with pot-as^h kcUlc^rt to a largo amount. Ho Kjjoal.s of the 
aftor horo of backwoods' roinaiico — "Judge Tenijjlo," — as a proruiiioiit co-workoriu 
|:jroinoti!ig settlunii'iits. 





ahead of the time and the condition of the country, and made slow 
returns. The resources were mainly the capital of his princij.als, 
the London associates. Seldom, if ever, have property holders ad- 
vanced larger amounts for improvements, or more freely at first 
thougli they began to be impatient after years had gone bv, and the 
returns of their immense outlays were coming in but slowlv to re- 
plenish their cofl-ers. In 1800, the balance sheets did not iJok well 
for then- Genesee country enterprise. There had been expended 
for purchase money of lands, agencies, and improvements, such as 
have been mdicated, $1,374,470 10. There had been received for 
lands sold, but $147,974 83. In addition to tiiis balance a-ainst 
them, they owed of principal and interest upon lands purchased? over 
5^300,000. To make all this look better, however, they had an im- 
mense amount of unsold lands, farms and mills, and an immense 
debt due for lands sold. While all Mr. Williamson's enterprises 
had been puttmg the country ahead in the way of settlement and 
miprovement, (even from ten to fifteen years, as manv estimate ) 
another direct effect must have been, the adding vastly 'to the prin 
cipals, the care of which he turned over to his successors He 
lound the wild lands of the Genesee country selling at from 1 to 4s 
per acre; he left them selling at from 81,50 to $4. 

He had at first formidable difficulties to overcome, other than 
such as have been named and indicated, as consequent upon the 
task of settling a country so isolated from the older settlements 
possessing so many harsh features to keep back emigration He 
was a foreignex, and had held a commission in the nmks of the 
British army, with whom a large portion of the new settlers h?d 
just been contending upon battle fields. Arms had been crrounded 
but feelings of resentment, prejudice, were rife. The pos^'ssion of' 
tort Niagara and Oswego, the British claims upon the territory of 
Western New York, their tampering with the western Indians, and 
even those that were unreconciled here, served to keep dive this 
feeling. Although Mr. Williamson had from the time he landed in 
America, given the strongest evidence that lie intended to mercrg 
himself with the disenthralled colonies, and throw off all ulle-iance 
to Great Britain, still he encountered jealousy and distrust. In re 
capitulating to Sir Wm. Pulteney, toward the close of his arrency 
the difficulties he had encountered, he makes the followiiicr renTarks •' 
'Even previous to J794. there was a strong predisposiUou against 



every thinj? that was British. But this was more particularly the 
case in those parts of the back country adjacent to the British set- 
tlements ; and where, I'rom the influence of the British govern- 
ment with the Indians, there was too nii^ch reason to fear that hos- 
tilities from that quarter would be directed against these infant set- 
tlements. These jealousies met me in an hundred mortifying in- 
stances ; and they were with difTiculty prevented from having the 
most disagreeable elTects, both to me and every old countryman in 
the settlements. To such an extent was this carried, that every 
road I talked of was said to be for the purpose of admitting the In- 
dians and British ; cveiy set of arms I procured — though really to 
enable the settlers to defend themselves againt the Indians — was 
said to be for supplying the exjiected enemy ; and the very grass 
seed I brought into the country for the purpose of supplying the 
farmers, was seized as gun powder going to the enemies of the 
country." He also alleges that these distrusts — opposition to his 
movements — were enhanced by influential individuals, who were 
interested in the sale of wild lands in other localities. 

All this, however, wore off, as we may well conclude, for he was 
elected to represent the county in the legislature, with but little op- 
position, in 1790, and the mark of favor was repeated. Well educated, 
possessing more than ordinary social qualities, with a mind im- 
proved by travel and association with the best classes in Europe, 
his society was sought after by the many educated and intelligent 
men who came to this region in the earliest years of settlement ; 
and he knew well how to adapt himself to circumstances, and to 
all classes that went to make up the aggregate of the early adven- 
turers. Changing his habits of life with great ease and facility, he 
was at home in every primitive log cabin ; a welcome, cheerful, and 
contented guest, with words of encouragement for those who were 
sinking under the hardships of Pioneer life ; and often with sub- 
stantial aid, to relieve their necessities ; away off in some isolated 
opening of the forest would be those prostrated by disease, to whom 
he would be the good Samaritan, and send them the bracing tonic 
or restoring cordial. These acts of kindness, his benevolence of 
heart, are well remembered by surviving Pioneers ; and repeatedly 
has the author been importuned by them to speak well of their 
friend, in those local annals. 

From the day that Mr. Williamson arrived in this country, until 


Pinars and goritam's ruKoirASE. 



he returned to Europe, his corrospondence was oxtonsivc and em- 
braced a lar-e number of prominent men in the northern States 
and in Europe. The interests of uli this rerrjon were deeply in- 
volved m the success of Mr. .lay's mission to Eiiirjnnd in 17i)l. 'Mr. 
Wiihamson's acquaintance with the stat(>smen of En-rjiuid were 
with those principally of the cf>nservativ(. class, and with them he 
urpd a reconciliation of all existing dilliculties. He made the I'ln- 
hsh government acquainted witii the conduct of their agents hi 
Canada : with their machinations with the Indians to brin." on an- 
other series of border wars ; an.l with the coiuiuct of IJritish oflicers 
at the western posts, in stimulating the Indians to stealthy assaults 
upon settlers, surveyors and explorers. [D- See account of munler 
oj Major Trueman, Appendix, No. 10. The treaty of Mr. Jay con- 
eluded, he urged upon the Colonial department of the Enrr]ish gov- 
ernment, the substitution of better disposed neighbors in The Cana- 
das, than Lord Uorchcster, and Gov. Simcoe ; anrl the hastenin<T of 
the fulfilment of treaty stipulations by the surrender of ()swe<vo'!xn(I 
Niagara. Trouble, an open rupture with England, was to be sure 
but postponed; but the author can hardly forego the conclusion, that 
in the n.fancy of settlement in the Genesee country, it was fortunate 
that English statesmen were extensive land holders— deeply inter- 
ested in the securing of peace and prosperity to the country— and 
that they had for their local agent, such a man as Charles Williamson 
There had accompanied Mr. Williamson on his first advent to 
the country, from Scotland, Charles Cameron, John Johnstone 
James Tower, Henry Tower, Andrew Smith and Hugh McCartney 
Mr. Cameron came over at the solicitation of Mr. Williamson pen- 
etrated the wildernes with him, assisted in planning and executino- 
improvements, kept the books and accounts, was his^ravellincr conv 
panion in many forest journeys ; and in fact, was closely connected 
with him during his whole residence in the country. He was the 
local agent as has been seen, at Lyons, and from that point it is 
supposed, shipped the first produce of the Genesee country to an 
easiern market; the flour from the mills that had been erected un- 
der his agency. He was one of the earliest merchants at Canan- 
daigua; at a primitive period, when the mercantile business of 
almost the pntlie Genesee country, was transacted in that village. 
In this relatii.a he was widely and favorably known to the Pionee'J-s.' 
Either upon liis own account, or as agent for Mr. Williamson, he 



£0 7h. 6d. 

was a merchant at IJatli before ho removed to Lyons, as is inferred 
from a ston^ hill, vvhicli the author lias in his posses-iion : — 

Bath, October, 1793. 
John Dolson,* 

I?oiif,'lit of Cliarlos Caitieron : 
Ort. 20, 1 111. diocolatd, 'Jm. <i<l I l-ii b'iil. wliiskcy 5s. 
Nov. .'). 1 f,';illoii whiskey, U)h. 

Mr. Cameron is one of the few survivors of thai early period. 
He is now in his 78th year ; a resident of Greene, Chenango county. 
Mr. Johnstone was also in Mr. Williimison's employ. 

When the division of liinds t(K)k place between Sir Wm. rultcnc} 
and Gov. Hornby, Mr. Johnstone became the agent of the Hornby 
lands, in which agency he continued until his death in 1800. He 
married a step-daughter of Nicholas Lowe, of New York. He 
was the father of James Johnstone, of Canandaigua, and Mrs 
Leavenworth, of New York. 

Henry Tower, was an tigent in the erection of the mills at Lyons, 
(or " Alloway,") became the purchaser ot them ; and resided there 
for many years. Hugh McCai tney nettled in Sparta. Of the other 
two who came with Mr. Williamson, the author has no account. 

Mr. Willinmson's first engngemcnt with the London Associates, 
was for the term of seven years ; though he continued in the agen- 
cy beyond the expiration of that period. It has already been in- 
dicated, that his principals were somewhat impatient at the slow 
return of his large outlays ; and the sanguine, impulsive agent, may 
have ventured to deplete their purses too rapidly; but there could 
have been no serious misunderstanding between them, as the cor- 
respondence that took place, in reference to the final settlement of 
the affairs of the agency in 1800 and 1801, exhibit a continuance 
of mutual esteem and friendship. A paragraph in a letter from Sir 
Wm. Pultney to the successor in the agency, indicates a wish that 
Mr. Williamson should be dealt honorably with in the settlement. 

In the final adjuslii.ent of his aliairs with his principals, what 
would then have been considered a very large estate, was left him 
in farms, village property in Geneva and Bath, wild lands, bonds 
and mortgages, and persona! property. James llecs:*, Esq., oi Geneva, 

* Mr. Dolson lived near Elmira. In one of Mr. Williiunsoii'sbapkwoods excursions 
in 17;i-2, ho had an allack of h;vi!i- at Mr. Dolsmi's, where lie w:w nursed until 
he recovered. He preBenled tlio family with twenty guineas, aiid a iann wherever 
they might chooae it upon the purehaao. 





was his agent, until he finally returned to Scothind, in Ifl03, or '4, 
when he left all his allairs in America, with his I'riend Col. Benja- 
initi Walker, of Utica. The successor of Col. \7alker in the care 
of the Williamson estate, was John II. W ends Esq., of Geneva, 
with whom it now remains. 

Aaron Burr was identified, as has already been observed, with 
some of the earliest movements in the direction of the Genesee 
country. Soon after Mr. Williamson'.s arrival, he made his acquain- 
tance, and retained him as counsel in his business : and the farther 
relation of strong personal friendship soon succeeded. In 179,'>, 
Mr. Burr made a visit to this region, continuing his journey as far 
west as Niagara Falls. He was accompanied by his daughter The- 
odosia, and her then, or afterwards, husband, Mr. Allston. The 
party were on horseback.* Upon this occasion, Mr. Williamson 
had interviews with him, if he was not in fact, his travelling com- 
panion in a part of the trip; and when Mr. Williamson became a 
member of the legislature in 'no, and in succeeding years, business 
and social relations, made theni frequent companions in Albany. 
In whatever project Mr. Burr had at the south, i\Ir. Williamson 
was blended, and would have taken a conspicuous part in it, if it had 
not been so summarily arrested. 

After Mr. Williamson left this country, he resided at the home of 
his fan)ily in Balgray, and in London. He died in 1808. The 
only record of the event, that the author has been able to obtain, is 
the following extract of a letter from Col. Walker, to " JMr. Wm. Ellis, 

^OTE.— C(.I. BcTijaTiim Walker, vas an early and prominent ciHzcn of Utien In 
the early part ot the Revolution he had l,eei» in the statr of (ien. Washini^nini, aiu! ^va.? 
afterwards the aul of Baron Stenl,en. He is r<.nneeted with a i,^,,,,.! atu'clote of he 
J)uron:—Reviewnij< some raw troojiH, he ordered them witii liis im.ierfect J'hi.disli 
pronunaau.Mi, to fall haek which tliey mistook for "advaiKv," and eame n.slii,,- di- 
rectly npon lam. Irritated, and fearing they would understand him no belter in his 
repnnKiiuis, he ordered Col. \Valker to d— ii ihem in Eii"i;^li 

In 17!)^ Jk. was surveyor of the port of New York, ,md was employed by Messrs. 
1 ulteney and Hornby to settle with an a-ont m this country, who had'invested some 
money or theni m lands (other tlian the (ienesee purchase.) whirl, h,l to Lis early 
aequain ance with Mv. VV, hamson. His corresp.mdence with Mr. Wilham^-on after ho 
returned to hurope, woidd mdicato superior talents ; and there could be Lrk,,„ed from 
tJiem niimy interesting early reminiscences .,f events in this country, t'ol. Waliver 
died m Ltica, m 1818, An only daimhter married H'Villicrs, a F/ench .'entlenrm 
who was m this region in '91, or '."). .She died in Franco. The only reiM-eseiitative of 
the family in this country, is an adopted daughter, Mrs. Bours (jf (Jeneva. 

*In this western visit Mr. Burr parted from his travelling companions at Avon 
Uiid went down andvisited the fallsof theOenesec, takhigtheirhei<dit anda Lmdsc-njo 
view of theni. He shared th.i log cabin of Mr. Shaefler, over night"! on his return .and 
.lie old gentU'Tuau wcU rcmombora his praLsus of the new couutry, and Lis "ulei^ant 
Bociable turn." •" i "o""!, 

rnELrs and goriiam s purchase. 


Nicholson street, Edingburg :" — " An extract sent me from an 
Englisli newspaper, announces the death of my friend, Col. Will- 
iamson, as having happened on his passage from Ilavanna to 
England ; an event which will be most sincerely lamented by a 
numerous acquaintance in this country, who esteemed and loved 

There is now no descendants of Mr. Williamson in this country. 
He lost a son and a daughter in Rath ; and a son and daughter went 
soon after him to Scotland. The daughter survives. Charles A. 
Williamson, the son, married a Miss Clark of New York, and resi- 
'ded in Geneva. Enticed by the discovery of gold in California — 
although he would seem to have had enough of wealth to satisfy a 
reasonable ambition — he took the overland route in the summer 
of 1818, died of cholera at Fort Laramie; and about the same 
period his wife died in Scotland. 

Sir William Pulteney died in May, 1805, leaving an only heir, his 
daughter, Henrietta Laura Pulteney, Countess of Bath. She died 
in July, 1808. DCt' For historical, and legal deduction of title to 
lands, other than what is contained in the body of the work, see 
Appendix No. 11. 


The successor of Mr. Williamson, in the general agency ot tne 
London Association, was Col. Robert Troup. He was a native of 
New Jersey ; in the war of the Revolution, he w^as the aid of Gen 

Note. — Tlicrc are Cdiitradictorv acoounts of Mr. Willianisdii's position at tlu' jioriod 
111' liis dcatli. One is, that lie liad bueu apixiinted by tliu L)ritisht,'ovL'L'rnineiit, (Jovuni- 
or of ono of tlie West India Islands; and anotliov is. that his advL'iitnrous and entcr- 
]ii-isinff spirit, had connrctod him willi sonii' of tho oarliest niovoniunts in rulatiou to 
Sunth AnuM'ii'au Indcpcndoni'L', in which hi; wa?! to have liornu a con.spicuous part ; 
and in pnr.suance of which, he was at sua, at tho period of his death. 

Note. — In a letter from JiiincH Wadsworth to Col. Troup, dated in September, 1805, 
lie says: — " I havci just heard of the death of Sir William Pultnuy. ily mind is stroiii^- 
ly impressed with tho disasti'rs that may befal this section of the State, from the 
(■\ent. Sir William was a man of business ; he was cajiable of deciding for himself, 
what was and what was not proper. Wliat may be the character of hi-! successor we 
know not." In another letter from ihesametothe same, it is assumed that the sucoossov 
in the man.'igeinent of tho estate, is Sir James Puheney. Mr. W. says : — I once dined 
with Sir James at Sir William's; he is ilevoted to the army, and a great favorite of 
the Duke of York ; and I think 1 have been informed, (luite nigardless of property; 
but of his honorable views, and perfect soundness of miud, I have no reason to doubt." 







■a K 

m m 

« Hi 

IL25 i 1.4 










^<i^ . ^/^ "^kN 



WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 






Gates ; his father was an officer of the navy in the preceding French 
war. Previous to the Revolution, Col. Troup had been a student 
at law in the ollice of Thoir-as Siuidi, of Ilaveslraw, New Jersey, 
and subsequently in the office of Gov. Jay. After obtaining license, 
he opened an office in the city of Alba j, and soon after returned 
to New York, where he practiced law until 1801. He was a few 
years a Judge of the U. S. District Court. In 1801 he was appoin- 
ted a general agent of the Pulteney estate. Residing in New York 
and Albany, he frequently visited this region, until 1814, when he 
became a permanent resident of Geneva. Under his aus; ..os a 
large portion of the original purchase of the London Associates, . 
(such as had not been settled during Mr. Williamson's administra- 
tion,) was sold and settled. Liberal in his views, public spirited, 
and possessed of much practical knowledge, he was a valuable 
helper in speeding on the prosperity of the Genesee country. Al- 
though the "Mill Tract," west of the Genesee river, was settled 
under the immediate auspices of Mr. Wadsworth, Col. Troup as 
the general agen^, had much to do in all that relates to its pioneer 
history; and for over' thirty years, his name was conspicuously 
blended with the history of all this local region. He was one of 
the early promoters of the Erie Canal, and wielding a ready and 
able pen, he did much to forward that great measure in its early 
proj(>ction and progress. He was the intimate friend of Alexander 
Hamilton, antl in fact few enjoyed more of the. intimate acquaint- 
ance and friendship, of the most of prominent men of the Revolution, 
and early statesmen of New York. He died in New York in 1832, 
aged 74 years. He liad two sons, one of wljom died in Charleston, 
and the other in N. York. A daughter of his is Mrs. James L. 
Brinkerhoof, of N. York; and another unmarried daughter resides 
in New York. 

Before Col. Troup's removal to Geneva, the immediate duties of 
the agency devolved successively upon John Johnstone, John Hes- 
lop and Robert Scott. Heslop was first a clerk of Mr. VYads- 
worth, and ( ntered the Geneva office a short time before the close 
of Mr. Williamson's agency. He died on a visit to his native 
country, England. Mrs. Gresliom, of Brooklyn, is a daughter 
of his. 



Joseph Fellows is a native of Warwirlcshi.-^ Pn i j r 

.00., an„ e„,e..e. ,h. office of Co,'. T™ ""rolrr Ge' e":' 
■n I8I0, as a sub-»ge„t m the Pultney land office : the detail, JZ 

was the wife of DrEli Hi 1 T""," \ *'" ' '^ ^'"^ "f h- 
Geneseo Hr hT^ ' , H,'^''"''^ of Conesus and 

ImZ ir „ T,"' '" ^'"''"- Mi'^'"S»". where he died 

brofhe": '"""'■ """ '■^^'*' "' G^""", with her 

The purchasers of the Pnllney lands, have found in Mr Fellows 

an agent deposed to conduct the business with strictlTe^rhv L 

Wr ^^f''^'"^"" left Bath, James Reese removed thero 

fiom Geneva, and took the temporary charge of the wfo r 
Hesiqnmii fhenost In isni i * ^"Ji„e oi me L.and Office, 

o „ ne post in 1803, lie was succeeded by Samuel I TTni,rhf 



to practice in the Supreme Court, and in the following year opened 
an office in Bath. Assuming the duties of the Land Office soon 
after, he • ontinued to discharge them until 1814. He was sub- 
sequently the law partner of General Matthews at Bath, and re- 
mained so until Gen. M. removed to Rochester in 1821. He now 
resides at Cubr<,, Allegany county. Besides holding important civil 
stations, in 1819 he received the appointment of Major General of 
the 25th military division, then comprising the counties of Steuben, 
Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauque.* 

The subsequent agents in the Bath office have been, Dugald 
Cameron, and William M'Kay ; the latter cf whom is the present 
agent. He is the son of John S. M'Kay, who emigrated to Geneva 
in 1800, and died in Pittsford, in 1819. 


Mr. Greig was a native of Moffat, in Dumfrieshire, Scotland. His 
father was a lawyer by profession, the factor or agent of the Earl 
of Hopeton; and besides, a landholder, ranking among the better 
class of Scotch farmers. After having acquired in his native 
parish, and in a High School in Edinburg, a substantial education, 
while undetermined as to his pursuits in life, Mr. Johnstone, who, it 
will have been seen, had been in this region, connected with Mr. 
Williamson, revisited his native country, and meeting Mr. Greig, 
induced him to be his companion on his return to the new world. 
They arrived at New York, in the winter of 1799 and 1800, after 
a tedious passage of eleven weeks. Mr. Greig, after spending some 
time in ]\ew York and Albany, came to Canandaigua, in April, 
1800. He became a student at law, in the office of Nathaniel W. 
Howell, and in 1804 was admitted to practice. In 1800, on the 
occurrence of the death of his friend, John Johnstone, he succeeded 
him in the agency of the Hornby and Cohjuhoun estate ; in which he 
has continued up to the present period. 

In an early period of his professional career, he became the part- 
ner of Judge Howell ; the partnership continued until 1820. Ming- 
ling with his professional duties, the arduous ones consequent upon 

'lu 1819 all that territory coutcoined but 3,100 men, subJMt to .Tilitary duty, 




the sale and settlement of large tracts of wild lands, professional 
eminence could hardly be expected ; yet in early days, when there 
were " giants in the land"— when the bar of western New York 
had in its front rank, a class of men, whose places can now harldy 
be said to be filled — tney found in the young foreigner a professional 
cotemporary, possessed of sound legal acquirements ; and especially 
recommending himself to th. ir esteem, by a high sense of honor^, 
and a courtes} , which ruled his conduct at the bar, as well as in 
the business ard social relations of life. 

As a patroon of new settlements — which his agency of a foreirrn 
and absent principal, made him — in that position, in which so im- 
portant an influence is wielded over the destinies of a new coun- 
try— his best eulogy is found in the frequent expressions of gratitude, 
which a gatherer of historical reminiscences may hear, from the 
lips of surviving Pioneers, for indulgence and kindness received 
at his hands.. 

Mr. Greig succeeded Mr. Gorham, in the Presidency of the On- 
tario Bank, soon after 1820, which place he continues to fill. He 
became one of the Regents of the University in 1825, .t, '. is now 
the Vice Chancellor of the Board. In 1841, '2, he was the Repre- 
sentative in Congress, from Ontario and Livingston ; and is now 
one of the managers of the Western House of Refuge. 

He is row 72 years of age ; his general health and constitution 
not seriously in)paired ; his mental faculties retaining much of the 
vigor of middle age ; having the general supervision of his estate, 
and discharging the public duties which his several offices impose. ' 
_ One of the largest estates of western New York, is the fruit of 
his youthful advent to a region he has seen converted from a wil- 
derness, to one of fruitful fields and unsurpassed prosperity ; — of a 
long life of professional and business enterprise and judicious man- 
agement. Leaving his young countrymen and school fellows to 
mherit estates ; with a self-reliance, which can only give substantial 
success in life, he boldly and manfully struck out into a new field of 
enterprise — a then fresh and new world — and became the founder 
of one. Liberal in its management and disposition, with a sensible 
estimate of what constitutes the legitimate value and use of wealth; 
he is the promoter of public enterprises, the Hb-.-al patron of public 
and the dispenser of private charities ; in J[ of which he finds a 
willing co-operator in his excellent wife, wlio is a worthv descend- 




ant of one who occupied a front rank among the earliest Pio- 
neers of the Genesee country. She was tlie daughter of Captain 
Israel Chapin, the grand-daughter of Gen. Israel Chapin ; was mar- 
ried to Mr. Greig in 1800. 




In preceding pages, tHe reader has observed some indications of 
unsettled relations between the Indians, and the early adventurers 
of our own race, in the Genesee country ; and the mischievous 
influence of those to whom they had been allies in the Revolution. 
All this will be farther exhibited in connection with the early settle- 
ment of Sodus. In this chapter it is proposed to treat the subject 
generally, avoiding as far as possible a repetition of what has been 
and will be, in the other connections, but incidental. 

The reader of American general history, need hardly be told, 
that what was called a treaty of peace with Great Britain, in 1783, 
war rather an armistice — a cessation of hostihties — and that but 
little of real peace, or amicable '-elations, was immediately conse- 
quent upon it. On the one hand, a proud arrogant nation, worsted 
in a oontest with a few feeble colonies, its invading armies defeated 
and routed, grudgingly and reluctantly yielded to a stern necessity, 
and allowed only enough of concession to be wrung from her, to 
secure the grounding of arms. And on the other hand, success, 
victory, had been won by a last, and almost desperate eflbrt, — the 
wearied colonies gladly embracing an opportunity to rest. Thus 
conditioned, the terms of peace were illy defined, and left open 
questions, to irritate and furnish grounds for a renewal of hostilities. 



British armies re-crossed tlie ocean, and British navies left our 
coasts, but British resentment was still rife. In the palace at 
Windsor, England's King was mourning with almost the weakness 
of childhood, or dotage, over his lost colonies ; yielding to the 
sacrifice with a bad grace, and in the absence of any kinglv digni- 
ty. Rich jewels had dropped from his crown, and he refused to be 
reconciled to their loss ; and his ministers, with more of philosophy, 
but little less of chagrin and discomfiture, in peace negotiations, 
seem almost to have made mental reservations, that contemplated 
a renewal of the contest. The homely adage, "like master like 
man," was never better illustrated, than it was in the persons and 
official acts of those who came out as government officers and 
agents, to look to the little that was saved to England, after the 
wreck of the Revolution. But one spirit, and one feeling pervaded 
in the home and colonial governments. It was that the treaty had 
been an act of present necesr<ity, that had not contemplated an 
ultimate sacrifice of such magnitude as was the final loss of the 
Ainerican colonies. The statesmen of England, were not unmind- 
ful that the site of an Empire lay spread out around our western 
lakes and rivers, and in all of what is now western New York, over 
which the Indians held absolute and undisputed sovereignty. Those 
Indians were their allies, ready to take the tomahawk from its belt, 
. and the knife from its sheath at their bidding. 

The first, and principal hope and reliance of England, touching 
the reversion of her lost empire, was that the experiment of free 
government would be a failure. Astonished that resistance to their 
rule had been attempted by a few feeble colonics, and more aston- 
ished that it had been successful — almost prepared to believe in 
the decrees of fate, or the enactment of miracles — they were yet 
unprepared to believe that discordant materials could be so blended 
together as to insure a permanent separation; that here in the 
backwoods of America, statesmen would be created by exigency, 
with a firmness, an intuitive wisdom, to mould together a perma- 
nent confederacy, that would be the wonder of the old world ; a 
political phenomena — and thus secure all that had been so dearly 
won. After the close of the Revolution, every movement upon 
this side of the water, was watched with intense anxiety. Unpro- 
pitious as were the first few years of the experiment, the events in 
creased their confidence. The difficulties growing out of disputed 




boundaries between the States; the Shay rebellion in Massachu- 
setts ; the internal commotions in Pennsylvania ; and finally the 
discordant views of those who came together to form a Union, and 
a permanent government ; all helped to increase their hopes, that 
divided and distracted, the colonies would either fall back into their 
embraces, or be an easy conquest when they chose to renew (he 

In the final success in the formation of a confederacy of States, 
— the Union — the interested croakers lost some confidence in their 
predictions, but they still hoped for the worst. If they admitted 
for a moment that there might be a confederacy of eastern States, 
they thought they saw enough of the elements of trouble in geo- 
graphical divisions, in conflicting interests of soils and climate ; in a 
curse they had entailed upon the colonies in the form of African 
slavery, to insure the failure of the experiment to embrace the 
whole in one political fabric. 

Disappointed in their earliest hopes, they fell back upon another 
reliance ; that by means of a continued alliance with the Six Na- 
tions, and with the western Indians, they should be enabled to re- 
tain all of what had been French Canada ; western New York, the 
Tallies of the western lakes and the Mississippi. With this end in 
view, by means of pretences so flimsy, that they never rose to the 
dignity of being sufficiently defined to be understood, they disre- 
garded the plainest stipulations of the treaty of 1783, withheld the 
posts upon Lake Ontario and the western lakes, and steadily pur- 
sued the policy of commercial outrages and annoyances, dogo-ed 
and irritating diplomacy, and bringing to bear upon the Indians an 
influence that was intended to embarrass all our negotiations with 
them, and ultimately to make them allies in a renewed contest for 
dominion over them and their territory. 

The settlement of the Genesee country, commenced under the 
untoward circumstances of a continued British occupancy ; the 
native owners of the soil, but illy reconciled to the treaties of ce?- 
sions, and thus in a condition to be easily incited to mischief; while 
off upon the borders of the western lakes, were numerous nations 
and tribes ready to join them, to redress their fancied wrongs, at 
the instigation of the malign influences that lingered among them. 
For six years after feeble settlements were scattered in backwood's 
localities, the British retained Fort Oswego and Niagara, and the 



western posts ; no American commerce was allowed on Lake Onta- 
rio, or if allowed, it was a mere sufferance, attended with all the 
annoyance and insolence of an armed police ai the two important 
points, OswefTo and Niagara. 

In the person of Lord Dorchester, the Gov. General of Canada, 
was an implacable enemy of the disenthralled colonies, an embodi- 
ment and fit representative of the spirit that ruled his home gov- 
ernment, and his deputy. General Simcoe, the Lieutenant Governor 
of the Upper Trovince, located at Niagara, was well fitted to take 
the lead in that then retreat of mischief makers and irreconciled 
refugees. Sir John Johnstone, after his retreat from the Mohawk, 
had continued to reside at Montreal, and after the war, retained a 
large share of the influence he had inherited, over the Six Nations. 
He may well be supposed to have had no very kind feelings toward his 
old neighbors. He was in fact the ready helper in the persevering 
attempts that were made to keep the Indians irreconciled and trouble- 
some. The position of Joseph Brant was equivocal ; keen scrutiny 
and watchfulness, failed to determine what were his real inclina- 
tions. Even his partial biographer, has left his conduct in the crisis 
we are considering, an enigma. At times he would seem to have 
been for peace; in his correspondence with Messrs. Kirkland, 
Phelps, Thomas Morris, General Chapin, and with the Secretary 
of War, General Knox, there were professions of peaceful inclina- 
tions ; while at the same period, he would be heard of in war coun- 
cils of the western Indians, stirring up with a potent influence, side 
by side with his British allies, their worst passions ; or organizing 

NoTK — As late as the Rummer of 1795, even after theJaytreaty and Wayne's treaty 
of Grenville Col. Simcoe was irreconciled, and to all appearances loukmg forward to 
a renewal of the contest between Great Britain and her lost colonies, or btates a.s they 
had then become. The Didce Liancourt, was then his guest, at Niagara, who says ot 
l,i,n • _ "War seems to be the object of his leading jKissions ; " he is acquainted witli 
the military history of all countries: no hillock catches his eye without exciting in 
hLs mind tl've idea of a foit, whicli miglit be constructed on the spot, and witli the 
construction of this fort he assiciates the plan of a campaign especially 
of that wliioh is to lead him t(, Philadeliihia." At tlie Indian village ot luscarora, 
near Lcwiston, where tlie Dukj accompanied him, he told the Indians <hat the Yan- 
kees were brooding over some evil (U'signs against them ; that they had no other object 
in view but to rob them of tlieir lands ; and that their good father, king George, was 
tlie true friend of their nation. Ho also repented, that the maize thief, li.i.. diy 
I'ickeiin.' was a rogue and a liar." When the governor and the Duke were on their 
way to fuRcarora, they met an American family on their way to Canada. On leani- 
ii,/ their destination, the Governor said to them : —"Aye, aye, you are tired of the 
F.'^deral government ; vou like not any longer to have so many kings ; you wish again 
for your old father, come along and I will give you lands." 



arrne<l band, of Canada Indian, as allies of the western confcde. 
ates. led Jacket was a backwoods Talleyrand, and Cornplanter 
an unschooled Metternich. '"l^'amer, 

and l!im''',!? ^TJ' ^'''""^''^'^'S-rn in affluence, richly pensioned, 
a^^d lumself and connections richly endowed wifh lands bJ 
the king repaid the bounties of his sovereign with all the zoal that 
?ert , rT'i-" " ''"'' ^y^«^«"^Ji"gthe views of Lord Dorches- 
he W, f TT"- - ^' ^^"P«'-'"t^"dent of Indian affairs he had 
me.!n "^^^^^'"S«'^t«^« '"^"^« atNiaga^-a. and dispensed his 
piesents profusely among the Indians, telling them that the "king, 

e 1'" Th ' r^'r^" "^"^ '''''' ^^^^''^- «Sain, against the 
rebels. 1 he early settlers of the Genesee country, saw on more 
than one occasion, the Indians in possession of n;w broadcloths, 
blanlcets and silver ornaments, that came from the king's store house, 
he fearful purport of which they well understood. Some of the 
nfluences and agencies that have been named, had assisted in land 
treaties, but ,t had been for pay, and with the hope ultimately of the 
partition of New York, and the non-fulfilment of the treaty stipu- 
lation for the surrender^ of its western territory. Lin-erL vet 
upon the Genesee river, and in several other localities, uere Refu- 
gees from the Mohawk, with feelings rankling in their bo.oms akin 

ParadiL '"°'^' "^'"' '^'^ ^""^ ^'''' ^^^^'^» '^' ^^ 

Added to all thes« elements of trouble, was an irreconciled feel- 
ing against the Indians, on the part of those who had been border 
settlers upon the Mohawk and the Susquehannah, and could not so 
soon foi-get their horrid barbarities. In the absence of courts and 
any efficient civil police, this feeling would occasionally break out 
in outrages, and on several occasions resulted in the murder of In- 
dians; It required all the wisdom of the general and State govern- 
ments and their local agents to prevent retaliation upon the Scatter- 
ed settlements of the Pioneers. 

While a storm was gathering at the west, and the Senecas, un- 
der the influences that have been named, were half inclined to act 
in concert with hostile nations in that quarter, the murder of two 
benecas, by whites, occurred on Pine creek, in Pennsylvania It 
highly exasperated the Senecas, and they made an immediate de- 
mand upon the Governor of Penn..ylvania for redress. It was in 
the lorm of a message, signed by Little Beard, Red Jacket, Gisse- 




hakio, Caunhesongo, rliiefs and warriors of the Seneca nation, and 
dated at "Genesco River Flats," August 1790. After saying they 
are glad that a reward of eight hundred dollars has been olfered for 
the murderers, they add: — "Brothers the two men you have killed 
were very great men, and were of the great Turtle tribe ; one of 
them was a chief, and the other was to be put in the great king 
Garoughta's place, who is dead also. Brothers, you must not think 
hard of us if we speak rash, as it comes from a wounded heart, as 
you have struck the hatchet in our head, and we can't be reconciled 
until you come and pull it out. "We are sorry to tell you, you have 
killed eleven of us since peace." " And now we take you by the 
hand and lead you to the Painted Post, as far as your canoes can 
come up the creek, where you will meet the whole tribe of the de- 
ceased, and all the chiefs and a number of warriors of our nation, 
where we expect you will wash away the blood of your brothers, 
and bury the hatciiet, and put it out of memory, as it is yet sticking 
in our heads. 

Mr. Pickering, who was then residing at Wyoming, was either 
sent by the Governor of Pennsylvania, or the Secretary of War to 
hold the proposed treaty, at Tioga Point, on the ICth day of No- 
vember. He met there. Red Jacket, Farmer's Brother, Col. Butler, 
Little Billy, Fish Carrier, and other chiefs of the Six Nations, and 
the Chippewa and Stockbridge Indians. They came to the coun- 
cil much enraged, and a speech of Red Jacket was well calculated 
to increase their resentments. The black cloud that hung over 
their deliberations for days, was finally driven away by the pmdent 
course of Col. Pickering, and the war spirit that was kinJled in 
many a savage bosom, finally quelled. This was the first time that 
the Six Nations were met in council by the general governmen^ 
after the adoption of the constitution. Col. Pickering informed 
them that the Thirteen Fires was now but one Fire, tha^t they were 
now all under the care of the great chief, General Washington, who 
would redress their wrongs, and correct any abuses the whites had 

NoTE.--MoiK),v atul presents of Roods, it is presumed, were the prineiral agents of 
tx.,u.ihati..n. Ti.e wily chicft who deniandod the conncil, while they ussuined that 


,, • - •',,,,, " "" ",i'""""^»-u uiu council, wnue uiey assumed that 

hen- young wanT:„rK,ouldh,u-dly be restrained from t^ikin;. nummary v^nseanco upon 
hu ^ylutes, intimated what tl>ev wore expoctinR ; and they especially requested t^,a° 
AeG..vernor should send to t fie council "all the property of the tmirderers" .->"] 
would" be a gi-eat satisfaction to the families of the deceLd.-' The resu t of ll o 

rf"frl' ul '{'ir't " . '° '"' ' ?•"'■'', ?'"'^ " co,npro,niMn.r of Uie murdei-s, and professions 
ot Iriendship, tliat were destined to remain equivocal "''""a 



practiced upon them ; and that especially traders among them 
would be prohibit'^d from selling sjiirituous liquors. To all this 
Red Jacket and Farmer's Brother made replies, expressing much 
gratification that the "great chief of the Thirteen Fires, hi>d opened 
his mauth to them." They made formal complaints of the manner 
in which their lands had been obtained from them» to which Col. 
Pickering replied, that their lands were their own to dispose of as 
they pleased, that the United States would only see that no frauds 
were practiced in the land treaties. 

The Six Nations called their councils with the whites, measures 
for "brightening the chain of friendship, "and never did chains get 
rusty so quick after brightening as they did along during this critical 
period. One treaty or council was hardly over before another was 
demanded by one party or the other. In the spring of 171)1, when 
the Little Turtle as the successor of Pontiac — at i leader, almost 
his equal — had perfected an alliance of the principal western na- 
tions against the United States; when expedients for reconciliation 
with them had been exhausted, and General Ilarmar was about tu 
march against them ; it was deemed of the utmost importance to 
confirm the wavering purposes of the Six Nations, and divert them 
from an alliance with the legions that threatened to break up the 
border settlements west of the Ohio, and if successful there, to in- 
volve the new settlements of the Genesee country in the contest for 
dominion. For this purpose, Colonel Pickering was again commis- 
sioned by the Secretary of War to hold ■ treaty. It was held at 
Newtown, (now Elmira,) in the month of June. With a good deal 
of difficulty, a pretty general attendance of the Indians was secured. 
Fortunately Col. Proctor who had turned back in a peace embassy 
to the western nations, in consequence of intimations which induced 
a conclusion that it would not only be fruitless but dangerous, had 
spent some weeks among the Sjnecas at Buffalo, and his visit had 
been favorable to the drawing off of the chiefs and warriors from 
Canada influence and western alliance, in the direction of Colonel 
Pickering and his treat} ground. 

The treaty was mainly successful. With all the bad inclinations 
of the Set.3cas at this period, and bad influences that was bearing 
upon them, there was a strong conservative influence which had a 
powerful auxiliary in the, "Governesses, " or influential women.* 


* The very coiiiiuuu imbues -luii iJiut the women L;ul no iiitlueiice ia tlie u. ucils of 



The principal speakers were, Red Jacket and Farmer's Brother. 
Thomas Morris was present at this treaty ;* the autlior extracts tro# 
his manuscripts, spoken of in the prcl'acc to this work; — "Red 
Jacket was I suppose, at that time, about 30 or 35 years of age, of 
middle height, well formed, with an intelligent countenance, and a 
fine eye ; and was in all respects a fine looking man. He was the 
most "graceful public speaker I have ever known ; his manner was 
most dignified and easy. He was lluent, and at times witty and sar- 
castic. "" He was quick and ready at reply. He pitted himself against 
Col. Pickering, whom he sometimes foiled in argument. The 
Colonel would sometimes become irritoted and lose his temper ; then 
Red Jacket would be delighted and shew his dexterity in taking 
advantage of any unguarded assertion of the Colonel's. He felt a 
conscious pride in the conviction that nature had done more for 
him than for his antagonist. A year or two after this treaty, when 
Col. Pickering from Post Master General became Secretary of War, 
I informed Red Jacket of his promotion. ' Ah, ' said he, ' we began 
our public career about the same time ; he knew how to read and 
write, I did not, and he has got ahead of me ; but if I had known 
how to read and write I should have got ahead of him.' " 

The name of an early Pioneer has already been incidentally men- 
tioned, who became prominently blended in all the relations of the 
general government, and consequently in all the relations of this 
local region, with our Indian predecessors. General Israel Chapin 
was from Hatfield, Massachusetts. He was commissioned as a Cap- 
tain in the earliest military organizations of Massachusetts, after 
the commencement of the Revolution, and was in the campaign 
against Quebec ; soon after which he was advanced to the rank of 
Colonel, and at the close of the Revolution, he had attained to the 

tliG Six Nations — tliiu their whole sex was regarded as mere drudges — is refuted by 
tlio recorded facts, that in treaties with Gov. George Clinton, and iu the treaty at " Big 
Trei'," they turned the scale iu councils. 

* Mr. Morris, then just from his law studies, withayounger brother, set out from Phil- 
adelphia, and coining via Wilkwharre and what was called " Sullivan's path, " attended 
the treaty, visitoil tlie Falls of Niagara, and returning, made up his miud to fix his res- 
idence at Canandaigua. »^See sketches of early times at Cauandaigua, and see also 
Boiue further reniiniscences of Mr. Morris in connection with tlie treaty at NewtowD, 
Appendix No. 12. 

Note.— Among the Revolutionary papers of General Chapin, are many interesting 
relics. Ei)hraim Patch, a soldier of liis company, charges in his memorandum, for 
" one pair of bult'ed trowsers, one pewter basin, one pair ahoes, ouu tomahawk and 





rank of Brij^adier General. In addition to his services in the field 
ftfc was occasionally a sub contractor, or agent of Oliver Phelps in 
procuring army supplies. Upon one occasion, as the author o' • erves 
by his correspondence, he was requested by Mr. Phelps to obtain a 
fine yoke of fat cattle for Gen. Washington's table." Gen Chapin 
was in active military service during the Shay rebellion : [D" See 
''general orders,' transmitted to him by Major General Shepherd 
Appendix, No. 13. After the close of the Revolution, he was a 
prominent managing member of an association, organized for the 
purpose of dealing in wild lands in Vermont. He was one of the 
origmal associates with Mr. Phelps, in the purchase of the Genesee 
country, and was chosen to come out and explore it in 1789 which 
resulted m his removal with his family to Canandaigua. in 1790 

Soon after the organization of the general government, the Sec- 
retary of War, General Knox, saw the necessity of a local a^ent 
among the Six Nations, and the well earned reputation of General 
Chapin, in the Revolution, and in the important civil crisis thai fol- 
lowed after it in Massachusetts, fortunately for the region with 
which he had become identified, pointed him out as a safe de 
pository of the important trust. From his earliest residence in the 
country, he had been entrusted with commissions, in connection 
with Indian relations, by Gen. Knox and Col. Pickerin y. Soon after 
the treaty at Newtown, he was appointed to the office of Deputy 
Superintendent of the Six Nations, though the duties of his office 
ultimately, in many instances, embraced the whole northern de- 

The letter of appointment from Gen. Knox, enjoined upon him 
the impressing upon the Indians, that it was the " firm determination 
of the President that the utmost fairness and kindness should be 
exhibited to the Indian tribes bv the Uniteri States " Tint it was 
« not only his desire to be at peace with all the Indian tribes, but 'to 
be their guardian and protector, against all injustice." He was 
informed by the Secretary, that Joseph Brant had promised a visit 
to the seat of government, and instructed either to accompany him 
"or otherwise provide for his journey in a manner perfectly a^ree' 
able to him." *= 

bell, onobiiyoiiGt. 111(1 bolt, lost by moil. UiJ^at from Qiioboc, MiiTcTnipri^r 
athat. ClMrkohiirgos t.;it ho was equally lu.fortunato in the h.xstv ( i^^h ]JZl 



This attempt to get Brant to Philadelphia, together with a large 
representation of other chiefs and warriors of the Six Nations, and 
others not actually merged with the hostile Indians of the west, had 
been commenced in the previous winter. It succeeded very well, 
with the exception of Brant ; a large Seneca delegation, with a few 
Cnondagas and Oneida?, nearly forty in all, were conducted to Phil- 
adelphia, across the country, via Wilkesbarre, by Horatio Jones 
and Joseph Smith. It was upon this occasion that the Indian chief, 
Big Tree, was a victim to the excessive hospital'ty that was extended 
to the deJegation, at the seat of government, dying there from the 
effects of surfeit. British hospitality and liberality was outdone ; 
President Washington won the esteem and confidence of the Indi- 
ans, and they departed with promises of continued frlend.ship, and 
that they would undertake a friendly mission to the hostile Indians 
of the west. 

Brant w-is invited to the conference by the Rev. Mr. Kirkland 
and Col. Pickering, but he stood out somewhat upon his dignity, 
and intimated that if he went, it was to be in a manner more con- 
sistent with his character and position, than would be a journey 
through the country, with a drove of Indians, under the lead of in- 
terpreters. This being communicated to Gen. Knox, he took the 
hint, and thence his instructions to Gen. Chapin. Apprehensive, 
too, that Brant wanted the invitation to come directly from the seat 
of government, he addressed him an official letter, respectful and 
conciliatory, appealing to him upon the score of humanity, to lend 
his great influence toward reconciling the existing Indian difficul- 
ties, preventing tlie further shedding of biood, and to assist the 
government in devising measures for bettering the condition of his 
race. This drew from the chief an answer that he would start for 
Philadelphia in about thirty days, and in the meantime would con- 
suit the western nations, and be enabled to speak by authority from 
thorn. No statesman of the new or old world, ever penned a more 
guarded, non-committal answer in diplomacy, than was this from 
the retired chief, in the backwoods of Canada. 

The letter to the Secretary of War, was sent to Mr Kirkland, 
at Oneida, and forwarded by him by the hands of Dr. Deodat Al- 
len, to the care of Col. Gordon, the British commanding officer at 
Fort Niagara, with a request to have it sent hy private express to 
Captain Brant, at Grand River. This manner of forwarding- the 



etter proved unfortunate. Dr. Allen, knowing its contents dosijrned. 
ly or imprudently communicated them to Col. Gordon, who acsompa- 
nied U with suggestions well calculated to promote an unfavorable 
answer. He also informed Captain Chew,* a deputy Indian 
agent under Sir John Johnstone, residing at Niagara, of the 
contents of the letter, who brought ail his influence to bear upon 
Brant, to prevent the journey. 

As the time of departure drew near, Gen. Chapin had Brant at- 
tended from the Grand River to Canandaigua, and from there, 
via Albany and New York to Philadelphia. The chief was at- 
tended by Israel Chapin, jr., Dr. Allen, Samuel Street, a servant of 
his own, and another provided for the party by Gen. Chapin. It 
was Brant's first appearance in the Valley of the Mohawk after 
his flight from there, and well knowing that upon his journey he 
must often encounter those of his old neighbors against whom he had 
carried on a sanguinary warfare, he feared retribution, and onlv 
proceeded upon the pledges of Gen. Chapin that no insult or indi.- 
nity should be offered him. It was only upon one occasion that fears 
were entertained fof his safety on the route by his attendants, who 
enabled him to avoid the threatened danger. Arrived at New 
York, it would seem the whole party, about to appear at court — or 
rather, at the seat of government — doffed their backwoods ward- 
robe, and patronized a fashionable tailor. Pretty round bills were 
presented to Gen. Chapin for payment ; that for a full suit for Brant 
would show that he at least did not appear in any less mean attire 
than was befitting an ambassador. 

The result of this visit of Brant to the seat of government, in 
detail, is already incorporated in history. Although in a measm-e 
satisfactory and productive of good, his position was by no means 
fixed, or changed by it. In the midst of feasting and civilities, the 
recipient of presents and flatteries, he was reserved and guarded • 
put on an air of mystery ; so much so. that Gen. Knox in a letter 
to Gen. Chapin, expresses fears that some thing was said or done at 

of rS^'!.S7.^'''^r7f,°^?'''.^^''^"'" '^^"'■•'' ^ h,-ilf blood T„8carora, the dm,f.hter 
piodsiit ot luHoaroia, a woman wlio is wtOl remenibm-.l by the I'ioiu'crs of tint ro- 
^ b..n l"° ?'''"• ""^, \^"''} J"''*?" *" =^"^''' •"""-'•''• tolcf tla. autl, r th: t .so wag 
! I nf r I'r •'^""'''" •^'^ ?^ "^'^ ^*'^'"' "i'-- fi™t ^■•'P""^^! Wia will, a ('., t .i^, J.;t- 



ty Indian 
a, of the 
)ear upon 

Brant at- 
3m there, 
f was at- 
prvant of 
apin. It 
iwk after 
)urney he 
)m he had 
and only 

or indig- 
that fears 
nts, who 

at New 
mrt — or 
is ward- 
ills were 
or Brant, 
an attire 

iment, in 

ities, the 
juarded ; 

1 a letter 
done at 

> diiiif^hter 

)f that ro- 
t tiliu wag 
ijitain Ki- 
ll! nfttiyes 

Philadelphia that had displeased him. The truth was, that he had 
a difficult part to perform: — In the first place, he was sincerely 
tired of war, and wanted peace ; but he was bound to the British 
interests by gratitude, by present and prospective interests ; exist- 
ing upon their bounty, and apprehensive that his large landed pos- 
sessions were held by the tenure of a continued loyalty. He knew 
that every step he took, and every word he uttered in favor of the 
United States, or peace, would be used against him, not only to 
weaken his influence with the British, but also with what he proba- 
bly valued still higher, his influence with his own race. Gen. Knox 
drew from him a promise that he would visit the western nations ; 
but the promise was attended with conditions and mental reserva- 
tions, which were calculated to render the mission of little avail. 

There followed this movement, a series of fruitless embassies to 
the hostile Indians, a protracted period of alarm and apprehension. • 
Repeated conferences and councils were held by Gen. Chapm with 
the Six Nations, mostly with the Senecas, as they were most m- 
clined to be allies of the western Indian confederacy. Hendricks, 
aStockbridge chief, Red Jacket, and Cornplanter, were successively 
sent on missions to the west, under the auspices of Gen. Chapin ; 
but neither they, nor white ambassadors, succeeded in gettmg any 
overture better than the ultimatum that the Ohio should be the 
boundary line of respective dominion. 

There was a long period of dismay and alarm, in which the new 
settlers of the Genesee country deeply and painfully participated ; 
evei<y movement in the west was regarded with anxiety ; and the 
Senecas in their midst, were watched with jealousy and distrust. 
In addition to the fruitless missions from this quarter, others were 
undertaken from the seat of government, and our military posts 
upon the Allegany, equally abortive; in two instances, peace am- 
bassadors were treacherously murdered before reaching treaty 
grounds. The hindrances to peace negotiations with the Indians, 
were vastly augmented by British interference. Not content with 
encouraging the Indians to hold out, and actually supplying them 
with the°means of carrying on the war, on one occasion, they refused 
to let a peace embassy proceed by water via Oswego and Niagara ; 
and on another occasion, with a military police, prevented commis- 
sioners of the United States from proceeding to their destination, 
a treaty ground. And these were the acts of a nation with whom 




if ' 


1^ ( 


we had just rnade a treaty of peace ; a nation who, in a recent cnsKs of their own, demanded the most stringent observance 
of the duties of neutral nations. They set up the specious and 
false pretence, that the supplying the Indians with the mea.^s of 
warnng upon us, was the work of individuals, for which the .^ov- 
rnent was not accountable. In the case of the Navy Island war. 
they insisted that our government should be responsible for individ- 
til ucts. 

The office of Gen. Chapin, it may well be concluded, was no sin- 
ecure. At the head of the war department was a faithful public 
officer, ond he required promptness and energy from all his subor- 
dinates. Upon Gen. Chapin, devolved the procuring of embassa- 
dors to the host.le Indians, fitting out them and their retinues, and 
^ holding council after council to keep the faces of the Six Nations 
turned from the west. In these troublesome times, the gov ernment 
was of course liberal with the Senecas, and Gen. Chapin was its al- 
moner. They, shrewd enough to understand the value of their con- 
tinned friendship to the United States at that critical period, were 
rnos of them sturdy beggars. Often they would propose counci 
with the ulterior motive of a feast and carousal and a "staff"* to 
support them on their return to then- villages. At his home in Can- 
andaigua he was obliged to hold almost perpetual ar.dience with self 
constituted delegations who would profess that thev were decided 
conservat.ves and peace makers, as long as he disp;nsed his bread, 
rneat and whiskey Ireely. Lingering sometimes quite too long to 
be agreeable or essential to the purposes of diplomacv, he would fit 
hem out with a iberal "staff" and persuade the squaws to uo back 

ZtrmBe 'fr' '^'""^^ their hunting camp; in the 
toiest. Ml. Berry at Canavvagus, and Winney, the then almost 

«f thoso ,H,fo„ve,.sanf, wiU v .J J ? ' f 1 " '".^"^tio.u.d, for the information 

Hllof Ihoir couiitiT tl.ey had rod , to h.'. 1 i 1 ^'i" ^''""'' T'"-"''' ^^'"•^ f" ■•.oover 

.•m the t.o,UKlarvlino, u, 1^, tl iV v w III . "''f T'"^' '■'■^'^'^■'' "P"" "''' «'"" 
Tlio oxpoditions of St M ir d ¥,;„r w . ''f ''' '■"';' ""'■'""■■'g'".! ^v the British. 
runishiiH' tliu Indians for }.i., )',• ' ''■"■ ''."'"'•'^^'"^' P'-^vioud trealias a„d 

ceded terriloiy. " Jq.redations coM.mUtcd ,.ponti>os. wlio had settled on 

a miioniS " tIcSJ'u^ ?f "^.^'■'t^'y t" ^^-^^h they ^ave this «an,o. What 



solitary resident upon the present site of BufTalo, were Indian 
traders, and acted as local sub-agents, the two first named es- 
pecially. Upon the General's orders, and sometimes at their own 
discretion, they would dispense meats and drinks, and formidable 
accounts thereof would be presented. Winney occupying an im- 
portant position with reference to Indian relations, kept the General 
apprised of all that was going on in that quarter. The United 
States having passed a stringent law prohibiting whol'y the selling 
of liquor to the Indians and trading among them without license, an 
onerous task was imposed ujjod the superintendent to prevent its 
infraction. School masters, missionaries and blacksmiths, among the 
Indians had to be cared for, and their various wants supplied. In 
all difTiculties that arose between the white settlers and the Indians, 
the superintendent was usually called upon to be the arbitrator. If 
the Indians stole fiom the white settlers, complaints were made to the 
superihtendant and it seemed to have been a matter of inference 
that his office imposed upon him the duty of seeing all .such wrongs 
redressed. It will surprise those who ars not conversant with the 
scale of economy upon which our national affairs commenced, that 
the pay for all this, which was attended with large disbursement of 
public money, for which the most rigid accountability was deman- 
ded, was but five hundred dollars per annum. 

The season of 1794 opened with gloomy prospects; — Negotia- 
tions with the western Indians had signally failed ; one army had 
been routed, and another defeated ; Indian murders of border settlers 
at the west continued ; a war with England was not improbable ;* 
and among the fearfully anticipated results in this region, was a 
renewal of the border wars, with the active participation of the 
legions of savage warriors at the west, added to increase its hor- 

NoTE. — The fdllowin;; is ri spocimen of Mr. Wiimcy's coiTespondoiicc. Prince Ed- 
ward wiw tlio afterwards Duko of Kent, tlie lather of the present Queen of England, 
lie had then a commission in the British army : — 

lii FFAi.o Creek, c 23d Aug., 1792. 

"I inform General Chapin that :ihont 70 of the Cauiida Lidians is gone to Detroit, 
they seem to be for Warr and a number of Indians more are expected to go uj), I fmlhir 
inform you that the Indians of this place arc to go up in the Kings vessel tha 
comes di)wn. Prince Edward i.s amved at niagara should I hear anything worth while 
10 writo I Bhall let you know. I am your most obedient rnd very humble servant. 
■' C. WiNNEY. 

* The reader is reminded that a war botwoon England and France had commenced 
Entrl.iiid had nrostratxMl American commerce by her arbitrary orders in council; and 
impressment of American seamen, (of itself a ButHcicut cause of war,) was going on. 



rors. In the month of February, Lord Dorchester had returned 
from England, and meeting a deputation from the western Indians, 
had delivered to them an inflammatory speech, asserting among 
o her thing., tnat he should regard as invalid, any acquisition of the 
l/n.tejl States, of Indian lands since the peace of 1783. [Appen- 
dix i\o. 14.J This of course included all of the Genesee country 
I-ollowing up the hostile demonstration, Gov. Simcoe, early in April 
with a body of troops had proceeded 'o the west, and erected a 
Fort, at the foot of the Rapids of the Miami, far within the boun- 
danes of the United States, as acknowlcged in the treatv of 1783 
Although General Chapin, as many of the old Pionee"rs well re- 
member, endeavored to quiet alarm, and prevent the desertion of 
the country, he was far from feeling all the security and freedom from 
apprehension of danger, that he with good motives professed All 
eyes were turned to him; from all the backwoods settlement.s, mes- 
sengers would go to Canandaigua, to learn from him all that was 
going on -to consult him as to anticipated danger: -if he had 
shown misgivings, or favored alarm, a desertion of the country would 
have ensued, the necessity of which he was laboring to obviate 
During the previous winter he had been to Philadelphia, and deliv- 
ered to the President a message from a council of the Six Nations 
and brought back an answer. In February he had convened a coun- 
cil at Buflalo and delivered it. It had proved satisfactory except in 
one particular -it had foiled to give an explicit answer upon the 
vexed question of the disputed western boundary. He however 
distributed presents among them -of which was a large supply of 
warm vyinter clothing -and left them with renewed professions of 
peaceful intentions.* In April he wrote to the Secretary of War that 
he had entertained confidence that the Six Nations intended to hold a 
council with the U. States, in order to bring " about a general peace," 
but that he feared that the '-inflammatory speech of Lord Dorches- 
ter (which had been interpreted to the Indians at Bufllvlo Creek 
by Col. Butler.) "with what passed between the British and Indi- 
^ins on that occasion, had changed their intentions." "Captain 
Bomberry attended the council in behalf of the British government 
and took pains on all occasions to inform the Indians that war betweeii 

* At diis period the Senecas wore almost wholly clothed and fed tiv I.;,,, t^ 
the only poUoy w,nch could provout the,, ft.. r^Lrti^.t ^^^^^ iJ^::^ 



their government and ours, was inevitable. When I was at Buf- 
falo Creek, Gov. Simcoe had gone to Detroit. He started for that 
place immediately on receiving Lord Dorchester's speech to the 
Indians." " The expenses of the Indians increase with the im- 
portance they suppose their friendship to be to us ; hov»rever, you 
may be persuaded that I endeavor to make use of all the economy I 
can." The letter closes as follows : — " This part of the country, be- 
ing the frontier of the State of New York, is very much alaimed at the 
present appearance of war. Destitute of arms and ammunition, the 
scattered inhabitants of this remote wilderness would fall an easy prey 
to their savage neighbors, should they think proper to attack them." 

On the 5th ot May, General Chapin informed the Secretary, that 
the British had commenced the erection of a Fort at Sandusky. 
" If," says he, " it is consistent with the views of the United States, 
to put any part of this country in a state of defence, this part of 
it calls aloud for it as much as any. We are totally unprovided 
with arms and ammunition, and our enemy is within a few miles 
of us. If 12 or 1500 stand of arms could be spared from the arse- 
nals of the United States, to the inhabitants of this frontier, together 
with some ammunition, it would contribute much to their security."* 

The apprehension of danger extended over all the region west 
of Utica. In the small settlements that had been commenced in 
Onondaga, it had been enhanced by an unfortunate local occurrence: 
Early in the spring. Sir John .Johnson, through an agent, had at- 
tempted to take from Albany to Canada, a boat load of groceries 
and fruit trees. A party of men waylaid the boat at Three River 
Point, and plundered the entire cargo. It was a lawless attempt of 
individuals to take the power into their own hands, and redress na- 
tional wrongs ; gratify an ill feeling against Johnson, and retaliate 
for British offences upon the Ocean, and the annoyances of Ameri- 
can Lake commerce at Oswego. An invading force from Canada 
to land at Oswego, and march upon the settlements in Onondaga, 
was threatened and anticipated. Rumors came that Johnson and 
Brant were organizing for that purpose. 

In refirence to the whole complexion of things at the west, and 
in Canada, the legislature of New York had resolved upon erecting 
fortifications upon the western borders, and had appropriated 

• Some f.rras and aitinuniitioii were shortly afterwards sent to Gen. Chapiu, either 
by the general or stato government. 



£12,000 for that purpose. Tlie commissioners under the act, were 
Generals Stephen Van Rensselaer and William North, Adjt. Gen, 
David Van Home and Baron Steuben, who was then a resident 
ot Oneida county. Soon after their appointment, they had enlisted 
the co-operation of General Chapin, Charles Williamson and Robert 
I orris, as to the location of the defences. Although Baron 
^ \ben came west, and corresponded wit>- he last named gentle- 
n reference to the matter, the author can not learn that any 
vas finally consummated west of Onondaga. Before any 
uld have been matured, the clouds of war had began to dis- 
1 the hour of alarm, the State commissioners came west 
rr.i- ^s Salt Point, and ordered the erection of a block house, 
%hich was soon completed. The Baron mustered together the 
backwoodsmen of Onondaga, officered and inspected them; a 
committee of public safety was organized. Before the block house 
was completed and garrisoned, on several occasions, the inhabitants 
fled to the woods with their most valuable effects. At this time, 
there was an unusual number of Indians at the British posts of Os-' 
wego and Niagara ; it was inferred that they were only waiting for 
Wayne's defeat at the west, as a signal for a movement in this 

^ A new element of trouble was interposed to embarrass the rela- 
tions of the Six Nations with the United States. Cornplanter, 
with a few other chiefs, had sold to the State of Pennsylvania a 
district of country along on the south shore of Lake Erie, which 
included Presque Isle. The act was strongly remonstrated against, 
and Pennsylvania was early informed that it had not the sanction 
of competent authority, and would be regarded by the Indians as a 
nullity ; but at a critical period, the authorities of Pennsylvania 
very inddiscreetly commenced an armed occupancy and surveys. 
This threatened to undo all that had been done by General Chapin 

^0TE. — The author of tJio oxcollont History of Onoiulaga.from which a portion of 
the account of movoinents in thiit (]uaitcr are derived, savs : — "Frederick William 
Auffustimharon do Steuben, once an aid-de-canip to Frederick the Creat, Kin- of 
I ruHsia, Qiiarterniaster (teneral, Chevalier of the Order of INIerit, (iiand Master of the 
Court of Hohenzollen, Colonel in the Circle of Suabia, Knight of the Order of l-'ideli- 
ty, (-oinniander-)n-ehief of the armies of tlio Prince of Jiaden, MnU>v General of the 
armies of the United States, and Inspector General of tlie same— the fortunate 
Boldier of hfty battles, an admirer of freedom, the friend of Washintrton, tlio man of 
virtue, tideht y and honor— performed his last mililarv service in revie\viii!r a score of 
!!!i!tnr,rd, half-elad militia, and in selectiie? a site ibr a blu.'k-hniise f(ir the defeuce of 
the Iroutier of New ^'ork, in the county of Onondaga, at Salt I'oint, in 1791." 




to keep the Six nations quiet. He took the advantage of a visit of 
Capt. Williamson to the seat of government, to represent the con- 
sequences, and induce the Presitlcnt to interfere and persuade the 
authorities of Pennsylvania to abandon the enterprise. In a letter 
to the Secretary of War, dated on the 7th of June, he had fore- 
shadowed the difficulty that was springing up in a new quarter — 
" The Cornplanter, whose steadiness and fidelity has been, until 
lately, unshaken, has, I am apprehensive, been induced to join 
their interests. He has lately returned fro.n Niagara, loaded with 
presents. Shortly after his return to his home, he despatched run- 
ners to the different tribes of the Six Nations, requprfting them to 
meet in a general council at his castle, to proceed from thence to 
Venango ; informing them that an Indian had been killed by our 
people, and that it would be necessary for them to inquire into the 
circumstances." " I am afraid that the murder of the Indian is not 
the real cause of calling this council. The lands at Presque Isle, 
were sold to the State of Pennsylvania by Cornplanter, and a small 
party, without the consent of the nation. No division of the 
money was ever made. The Cornplanter has always denied h;,ving 
made the sale, and they have never considered it as a valid one. 
The troops sent on by the State of Pennsylvania, prove to the In- 
dians that the property is considered by the State as belonging ot 
them ; and the Cornplanter, in order to extricate himself from the 
unpleasant situation he is placed in, is perhaps desirous of inflaming 
the Six Nations against the United States." General Chapin sig- 
nified his intention of attending the council at Venango, as he had 
been invited, to thwart any mischief that might be engendered 
there. He succeeded, however, in changing the council to Buffalo 
Creek, to be held thero on the 15th of June. 

Cornplanter was present at this council, and the principal speak- 
er, lie led off with a speech to be transmitted to the President, in 
which he nearly threw off all disguise, and from a conservative, be- 
came an ultra ist. He opened smoothly and artfully, however ; ad- 
dressing the President through Gen. Chapin, he said: — " Brother, 
I have for a long time aimed at the good of both parties. I have 
paid you different compliments, as that of brother, and f^^ther, and 
now I shall call you friend. We were pleased when we heard that 
you war- appointed to have chief command of the T^nited States." 
He closed a long speech, and one of a good deal of ability, by join- 




mg the western Indians in their ultimatum, in reference to making 
the Ohio the boundary line ; thus, in fact, nullifying his own acts. 
He demanded redress for two of their people killed by the whites ; 
and even hud the effrontery to complain of the occupation of 
Presque Isle, adding very significantly that it might "occasion 
many accidents," and presented the Gen. with ten strings of black 
wampum. General ^jhapin made a judiciou.« reply ; and in answer 
to a request that Cornplanter had made in behalf of the Six 
Nations, for him to go to Prcsfpie Isle, disclaimed any right he had 
to interfere with the acts of Pennsylvania; but said he would ac- 
cept the invitation, and go there and give his ad /ice. 

Accompanied by William Johnson, * two Seneca chiefs and ten 
Indians as a guard and as oars-men, General Chnpin left Buffalo 
Creek on the 19th of July for Presque Isle, where he arrived on the 
24th. Their , 'ow progress had been owing to head winds that 
frequently obliged them to camp on shore and await their subsiding. 
There were then no Indian or white occupants at Presque Isle. A 
company of troops and a corps of surveyors were stationed at Le 
Boeuf, on French Creek, IG miles distant, to which place the em- 
bassy plodded their way through the woods on foot. A Captain 
Denny co:nmanded troops at Le Boeuf, and Mr. Ellicott f was at 
the head of the surveyors. The arrival of the ambassador of peace 
and his dusky retinue, was honored by the discharge of cannon. 
Runners had preceded the party, and on its arrival, a considerable 
number of Indians were collected. General Chapin delivered to 
Messrs. Denny and Ellicott , a message from the chiefs he had met 
at Buffalo Creek, which contained a demand for the suspension of 
surveys and a withdrawal of the troops ; a day or two was spent in 
makmg speeches, and in friendly intercourse with the Indians. The 
council, or interview, terminated in a promise from General Chapin 
of a general treaty to settle not only that, but all existing difficul- 
ties, and the representatives of Pennsylvania signified a wfilingness 
f abide by the result. Before leaving Le Boeuf, General Chapin 
despatched a letter to the Secretary of War, in which he said, that 

rrli"^'"wl''^'t1'*l^''','r''',"'l'"''-"r'''''*^''" '" ^'^'^ ""tish interests, residing at Duffxlo 

hTr^'.tlT ° '"!"'l "^" '■* ""^ P'''-'^''"^ "ty of Buffalo. A coniproniise .'avo 

Z £' a But W h" ""■ '"'■'^ " f'r. *='V' ""<! '^ tract of wild land neai- [he citv. ^ He 
iw(i iiiun a Uutler Ranger. Ho died in 1807 

t Either Jo.scph or Beujainiu JJllicott. 

rnELPS AKD goeiiam's pukciiase. 


" although the minds of the Six Nations are much diatuibed at the 
injuries they say they have sustained, they are still opposed to war, 
and wish, if possible, to live in peace with the United States. 
They are much opposed to the establishing of a garrison at this 
place, as they say it will involve them in a war with the hostile 
Indiana. * They are likewise much displeased with the having 
those lands surveyed, as they say they have not been legally pur- 
chased." In this letter, General Chapin earnestly recommended a 
general treaty, as the only means which could keep the Six Nations 
aloof from the dangerous confederacy at the west. 

To the letter of General Chapin, the Secretary answered on the 
25th of July, saying: — "Your ideas of a conference are adopted. 
It will be held at Canandaigua on the 8th of September. Colonel 
Pickering will be the commissioner, to be assisted by you in iW re- 
spects. Notify the Six Nations that their father, the Presiti nt of 
the United States, is deeply cjncerned to hear of any diss; 'sfac- 
tion crusting in their minds against the United States, and there- 
fore invites them to a conference, for the purpose of removing all 
causes of misunderstanding, and establishing a permanent peace 
and friendship between the United States and the Six Nations." 

No time was lost by General Chapin in disseminating the invi- 
tation among the Indians ; holding " talks " and councils with them, 
personally, in their villages. A crisis was at hand ; Gen. Wayne 
was marching into the Indian country ; legions of the western and 
southern Indians were assembling to give him battle ; unless the 
Six Natiins were diverted, there was strong probability that they 
would be with them ; and if Gen. Wayne was defeated, there was 
the additional fearful probability that an attempt of the confederates 
would follow, to address the alleged wrongs of the Six Nations, by 
bringing the war to this region. Runners, or messengers, were 
despatched to the scat of government ; frequent communications 
passed betwen Generals Knox and Chapin, and frequent speeches 
came from the President, through GtMieral Knox, to the Six Nations. 
On the 30th of July, General Chapin reported progress, and inform- 
ed General Knox that the complexion of things at the west looked 
discouraging ; that although he entertained hopes of a general at- 

* Oblige ihf^m to join the hostile Indians, it is presumed, is the meaning intended 
to be conveyed. 


rm:LPs and oortta^m's ruRciiASE. 


tendance at the treaty, he had to stem a strnncT tide of opposition, 
principally instigated by the British. "Captain O. Bail does not 
feel satisfied respecting his villanous conduct in making sale of the 
lands at Presque Isle, which jrivcs general dissatisfaction to the Six 
Nations, as they were not informed of his proceedings. The In- 
dians' enmity to him, induces him to be more attached to tho 
British, as they tolerate every kind of such conduct to disturb the 
Indians and bring about their own purposes." In this letter, the 
General mentions that the warriors on the Allega.iy had been' per- 
suaded that Wayne would march in this direction, and had re- 
moved their old men, women, and children, to a new location on 
he Cattaraugus Creek, with the ultimate intention, as he thought, 
of crossing the Lake to Canada. 

In the forepart of September, General Chapin employed William 
Ewing, whom the reader will find alluded to in connection with 
reminiscences of Pioneer settlement on the Genesee river, to repair 
to Buflldo creek and Canada, use his influence in getting the Indi- 
ans in that quarter to attend the treaty, and watch and counteract 
as far as possible, British interference. A letter from Mr. Ewing 
to General Chapin after his return, contains so much of the cotem- 
porary history of that period, that the author has inserted it entire 
in the Appendix, No. 15. 

The most ample provisions were made for the treaty ; while the 
Secretary of War would caution against the unnecessary expendi- 
ture of public money, he transmitted funds liberally, and ample 
stores ^of Indian goods, liquors, tobacco, &c., were purchased in 
New York, sent up the Hudson, and started upon the long and tedious 
water transit, while at Canandaigua, the local superintendent, laid 
in provisions and prei)ared to fulfil a promise to the Indians, that he 
would "hang on big kettles." Col. Pickering wrote to General 
Chapm to have quarters provided for him where he could entertain 
friends ; that he ha.l sent on liquors, provisions, tea and coffee, for 
a private establishment. 

The Indians gathered tardily. Col. Pickering anticipating this, 
di'i not arrive until after the 20th of September. In a letter to the 
Secretary, dated on the 17th, Gen. Chapin mentions a rumor, that 
Wayne had defeated the Indians. In reference to the treaty he 
says : — " Since the Indians were first invited to it, the British have 
endeavored if possible to prevent their attendance, and have used 



every t-ndcnvor to persuade them to join the hostile Iiuli.'ins, till at 
last they found the Indians would not generally join in the war, 
the Governor told them in the council at Fort Erie, that they might 
attend the treaty, and if anything was given them by the Ameri- 
cans, to take it." " The Indians will generally attend the treaty in 
my opinion, or especially those of the best part of them ; such as 
are generally in council, and the best friends to the United States." 

Previous to the treaty, or Wayne's victory, a little light had broke 
in to the darkness ihat pervaded. The prospect of a general war 
with Eii"lrM(l was lessened. Gen. Knox wrote to Gen. Chapin in 
June, that the " British conduct in the West Indies." and Lord 
Dorchester's speech had "rendered it pretty conclusive__that last au- 
tumn the ministry of Great Britain entertained the idea of making 
war upon us. It is however, now pretty certain that they have 
altered or suspended that intention. This conclusion is drawn from 
the orders of the Pth of January, and the general opinion enter- 
tained in Great Britain." Favorable as were these indications, 
they had no immediate efiect upon British agents in this quarter. 

It was not until near the middle of October, that a sufficient num- 
ber of Indians were collected at Canandaigua, tc warrant the com- 
mencement of business. About that period General Chapin w;ote 
to the Secretary, that he should " endeavor to make use of the 
shortest ceremony in procuring supplies, but the number cf ^adians 
is greater than I expected, and the expenses also." It is apparent 
from the cotemporary records, that the Six Nations, a large propor- 
tion of them at least, hung back from this treaty, even until they 
began to hear of Wayne's victory, from such of their number as 
had been in the fight, as allies of the confederates; and in fact they 
did not assemble at Canandaigua, in any considerable numbers, un- 
til Wayne's success was fully confirmed, and they were clearly con- 
vinced that the fortunes of war had turned decidedly against those 
w'th ^vhom they would have been fully allied, if Wayne had met 
with no better success than had his predecessors, Harmar and St. 


The general proceedings, and favorable termination of Picker- 
ing's treaty of 17!) 1, at Canandaigua, are already incorporated in 
history. Wayne's victory, and the success of the treaty, which 
was in a great measure consequent upon it, were the commence- 
ment of events that finally gave a feeling of security to this region, 



and enabled settlenrients and improvements to go on, unannoyed by 
the alarms and prospects of war and invasion. There was a iin- 
gering state of uncertainty after the two fortunate events; for 
months rumors can)c, that the western confederates were a<rain 
makmii; a stand, and refusing any compromise ; indications in Can- 
ada, and at the British posts at the west, favorrd the conclusion of 
British alliance with them ; but the news at last cmne, that the far 
western nations were retiring across the Mississippi, discomfited, 
and chagrined with an alledged breach of fai'h on the part of the 
British, in not coming to the rescue when 'uiey were hotly pressed 
by Wayne — in shutting t!ie gates of their fortress against them, 
when his iron hail was strewing the ground with their warriors; * 
and finally, that the nations more immediately interested in the con- 
test, had signified their willingness to do what was soon after con- 
summated at the treaty of Crenville. Jay's treaty Ibllowed, Oswego 
and Niagara were surrendered, and years of peace and security 
followed, and continued until the war of 1812. 

The lion. Thomas jMorris, it will have been seen, was a citizen 
of Canandaigua. lie was })resent at the treaty. He tnus speaks 
of it in his manuscript reminiscences: — "For some months prioi 
to the treaty at Canandaigua, the Indians would come among us 
painted lor war; their deportment was fierce and arrogant : such 
as to create the belief that they would not be unvvillingto take up 
the hatchet against us. From certain expressions attributed to 
Gov. Simcoe, in connection with his conduct at SoJus Bay, it was 
believed that the British had taught the Indians to expect that Gen. 
Wayne would be defeated, in which event they might easily have 
persuaded the Six Nations, to make common cause with the hostile 
Indians, and our settlements would have been depopulated. Such 
were the apprehensions entertained at the time of an Indian war on 
our borders, that in several instances, farmers were panic struck, and 
with the dread of the scalping knife before ihem, had pulled up 
stakes, and with their families, were on their way to the East. Ar. 
rived at Canandaigua, they found that I was painting my house, 
and making improvements about it ; believing that I [tossessed better 
information on the subject thai, they did, their fears became quieted, 


*Mr. Morris Hnystlint flu- hostile Truli.ans at (lie west, sent nnui('r.^to tlu! Ciinaiulai- 
uativaty with a lull account of llicir disaslcr, whii'li closcil by savin;,' : — " AuiU.iif 
rcllin n, tik' liiiiiMh, lookcil un, and yavc us not llic least assistance.'' 



and they retraced their steps back to their habitations. After the 
defeat of the liostile Indians, those of the Six Nations becam com- 
pletely cowed ; and, from that time all apprehensions of a war with 
them vanished. 

Brant has almost been lost sight of in the progress of this narra- 
tive ; though he was by no means inactive. He was in correspond- 
dence with General Chapin, on terms of personal friendship with 
him, receiving from his hands considerable sums of money in pay- 
ment for promised services ; but it is impossible to avoid the con- 
clusion that he was insincere and faithless. His own partial biog- 
rapher, Col. Stone, places him in arms, with an hundred Mohawks, 
against St. Clair, and gives a letter of his to Gov. Simcoe, in which 
he acknowledges the recei})t of ammunition from the British, and 
said he was about to join his cainj) of warriors at " Point Appineu,"* 
to act in co-operation with Cornplanter in an attack upon Le lioeuf. 
In short, with the exception of a growing distaste for war, of which 
he had had a surfeit, his relations to the British government, and 
atlachmcnttoits interests, were not materially changed, until grow- 
ing out of land difliculties in Canada, he had a quarrel with the 
colonial authorities. Cornplanter finally made some amends for 
the conduct of which Gen. Chapin so very justly complained. 

The visit of General Chapin to the disputed territory in Penn- 
sylvania, as a mediator, and the fortunate turn he gave to affairs by 
his judicious suggestion of a general treaty, was an important event 
not only to this region, but to our whole country. It diverted the Six 
Nations from marching against Wayne ; had they been in main force 
with the confederates, the result of the contest, in all probability, 
would have been adverse. Little Turtle would have been aided 
by the counsels of "older and better " warriors than himself ; the 
ancient war cry of the Iroquois that hac" so often spread dismay and 
terror among the confederates, \/ould have been equally potent in 
rallying them in a common cause of their race. In a letter to Gen. 
Knox, dated in December, alter the treaty, in which he congratu- 
lates the Government through him of the favorable turn of allairs, 
and gives the assurance of a settled state of things in this region, 
General Chapin says : — " My journey to Le Boeuf, I shall ever 
believe was the means of preventing the Six Nations from lending 

* Piiiut Abiuo ou the Canada side of Luke Erie. 



their assistance to their western brothers, as they term tl,ern • and 
mwh,ch I got my present sickness fron. which I :.m fearful I shall 
never recover. But believe n.e. Si, to be useful to the frontier upon 
wind I hvc. and my country in general, has been the prevai ing 
object of my pursuits. " ^ ^ 

Other than the mutual pledges of peace and friendship which 
was made at the treaty, the settling of the lands about Presque Isle 
was the important consummation. This was the result of 1 com- 
P onnse. IJy the treaty at Fo.t Stanwix, the western boundary of 

the Pennsylvania hne ; thus cutting thorn otf from Lake Erie and 
takuig from them all the territory that is now embraced in Chautaunue 
count3^ besides a strip which is now in Cattaraugus, and a gor '" 
Ene county. Th,s was restored, making their Western b<; .ulary 
the shore of Lake Erie, and a strip of la.ul on the Niagara Rivef 

toured te's '''" ''' ''''] ^^"^'" '^ ^''-^ ^^•'^•"'"' ^^ ^'- - 
loreu. I'le benecas sniTen; (^rpf) nil rilni,,^ ♦„ n 

land -the triangle at Vr^^uf ' """"' """"" '' 

at Whitof "'''""^ r""'' '' '^'"- ''''' ''''' ^'>--" '"^ - '^tter dated 
atWlmsown, ,n this state, which says that « Wm. Johnston a 
British ndian agent was p,'esent at the t,-eaty an.l secretly at 

tins m General Chapin's correspondence with Gen. Knox but he 
ir^fers hat so.nething of the kii.d occu.Ted. In aleU^o B,nt 
Gene,, chapin speaks of the sudden departure o olm ton^ 1 
h t..eaty g,-ound. as if he had advised it in consequence of a Z 
ha soine out.;age woi.ld be coniu.itted upon him ,y citizens in at 
tenda..c. ; as . he had intci-f^i.,, ai.d a^ ^nish:!;^ 

The_ forebodings of General Chapin, in his last letter to General 
Knox, m reference to his declining health, unhappily for his coun y 

wha s ,t ; ; ^" """'"""^ ^" '^^^^""^' '-^'- tl- effects of 

disease of the couiit.y, which fhu.Ily tern.i.iated in dropsv II'; 

e on he 7t of M.i,.eh, mr, aged 54 yea.-s. In the ^cha": 

01 h.s olhcal duties, he had won the esteen. and confidence of the 

d u:""" w1"'n ''r' '''''' ''"'^ Sivon befbre ai.d af>er 1 u 
leath. Apprized ui his iiii.ess. his Colonel Pickering, who had 




succeeded Gen. Knox as Secretary of War, carefully consulted the 
eminent physician, Dr. Rush, and communicated his advice by 
letter ; and equal solicitude was felt throughout a large circle of ac- 
quaintance. In all this local region, his death was mourned as that 
of a public benefactor ; and no where more sincerely than among the 
Indians, whose esteem he had won by his uniform kindness and 
strict regard for their welfare. Soon after 'his death a large num- 
ber of chiefs assembled at Canandaigua, and in public council de- 
monstrated their high sense of thi loss they had sustained, Red 
Jacket, addressing Captains Israel Chapin and Parrish, said : — 

"BaoTiiEiis — I wish you to pay attention to what I have to say. 
We have lost a good friend ; the loss is as great to us as to you. 
We consider that we of the Six Nations, as well as the United 
States, have met witli a great loss. A person that we looked up to 
ss a father ; a person appointed to stand between us and the United 
States, we have lost, and it gives our minds great uneasiness. 
He has taken great pains to keep the chain of friendship bright be- 
tween us and the United States ; now that he is gone, let us pre- 
vent that agreeableness and friendship, which he has held up between 
us and the United States, from failing. 

"Bkotiieus — It has been customary among the Six Nations, 
when they have lost a great chief, to throw a belt in his place after 
he is dead and gone. We have lost so many of late, that we are 
destitute of a belt, and in its place we present you with these strings, 
[9 strings black and white wairipum.] 

•■'BaoTHKRa — As it is a custom handed down to us by our fath- 
ers, to keep up the good old ancient rules, now we visit the grave 
of our friend, we gather leaves and strew them over the grave, and 
endeavor to banish grief from our minds, as much as we can." [14 
strings black and white wampum.] 

Alter this the chiefs adopted a messngc to be sent to the Presi- 
dent, inlbrming him that the "person whom 'le had appointed for 
us to connnunicate our minds to, has now left us and gone to ano- 
ther world. He with the greatest care comnnmicatcd our minds to 
the gn>;it council Ih'e." They concluded the message by recapitu- 
lating the services that had been rendereil them by Captain Israel 
Chapin, his son ; reminded the President that ho is conversant with 
all the relations of his father with them, and request that he may 
t;ucce(;d to his place. 




The President being of the same mind of the Indians, the ap- 
pointment of Captnin Israel Chapin soon followed. In announcing 
to him his appointment, Mr. Pickering says : — " The affairs of the 
Six N tions will henceforward be managed with much less trouble 
than rmerly. The treaty made with them last fall, must supersede 
all pre-existing cause of complaint. The treaty entered into by Mr. 
Jay with Great Britain, will, I trust, rid you of all such embarrass- 
ments, as heretofore have sprung from British influence, and peace 
with the western Indians, is now in fair prospect. The hostile na- 
tions liave all sent in their chiefs to Gen. Wayne, to sue for peace ; 
and have agreed upon a treaty, to be held at his head quarters, about 
the first of June next. So your principal concern will be to pro- 
tect the tribes under your superintendence from injury and imposi- 
tion, wliich too many of our own people are disposed to practice 
upon them ; and diligently to employ all the means under your di- 
rection, to promote their comfort and improvement." 

As the Secretary suggested, the principal ditnculties with the Six 
Nations had been adjusted, but a vast amount of labor and responsi- 
bility still devolved upon the local agency. Annuities were to be 
paid, not only the general ones, but special ones, to a large num- 
ber of chiefs and warriors, who had recommended themselves to 
favor; schools and school-masters were to be looked to; blacksmiths 
were to be employed and superintended in all the principal Indian 
villages; depredations upon Indian lands were to be prevented, and 
frequent difficuhies between Indian and white settlers were to be 
adjusted ; Indians killed by the white men were to be paid for.* 
The Indians had learned to lean upon the local Superintendent with 
all the dependence of childhood. All these arduous duties seem to 
have been faithfully discharged until 1802, when he was removed 
from the agency. His successor was Captain Callender Irwin, of 
Erie, Pennsylvania. The change would seem to have been one 
ot an ordinary political character, an.l not from anv cause that im. 
plicated his private or official character. 

In connection with these events, it should be mentioned that 

"KUliTiu: wiM n n.Mtt.T of ]>„siiHw c..mi)rnini«. : — " Roccive.l .,f Is-n-I ("I,-.,,ip 




the Six Nations found in the Yearly Meeting of the society of 
Friends of Philadelphia early and faithful guardians of their inter- 
ests and welfare. A committee of their number hospitably enter 
tained their chiefs when they visited Philadelphia ; at the especial 
request of the chiefs, a committee attended the treaty of '94, at 
Canandaigua. For almost half a century there has been a standing 
committee of that Yearly Meeting, having especial care of the 
Six Nations. In HOG this committee, availing themselves of a 
visit of Jasper Parrish to the seat of government, prevailed upon 
him to visit the Indians and tender to them their assistance in a 
plan to instruct them in "husbandry and the most neccessary arts 
of civil life. " They soon after established schools, sent men and 
women among them to teach them fanning and house work, and 
built mills for them, in at least one locality. 

The sons of General Israel Chapin were : — Thaddeus, who was 
an early merchant in Canandaigua, and subsequently, a large farmer 
near the village ; Israel, the official successor of his father, who was 
the founder of what was called "Chapin's Mills, " a ihw miles north 
of Canandaigua, on the Palmyra road ; the only survivors of his 
family, are, Mrs. John Greig, and a maiden sister ; Henry, who was 
an early merchant in Bufllilo, a resident of Ohio ; and George, a 
farmer near Canandaigua. A daughter of General Chapin, was 
the wife of Benjamin Wells, who came to Canandaigua with his 
father-in-law, in 1789. The surviving sons of Mr. Wells are, 
Walter Wells, of Webster, Monroe county, Benjamin Wells, of 
Conhocton, and Clement Wells, of Canandiagua. A daughter 
became the wife of Jonas Williams, who was one the founders of 
the village oi Williamsville, Erie co. 


His family were emigrants from the state of Connecticut to the 
head waters of the Delaware river in this State, where they were 
residing on the breaking out of the border wars. In 1778, wheti 
but eleven years of age, the subject of this sketch was with his 
father, who was six miles from home, assisting a family of back- 
woodsmen to move nearer the settlement, where they would be less 
exposed. Attacked by a small [rariy of Munsee Indians, they were 
made captives. Tlic father was taken to Niagara, and after being a 



captive two years, was exchanged and enabled to rejoin liis family. 
The protector of young Jasper, was a war chief, by whom he 
was well treated. After remaining a while at the "Cook House," 
he was taken to Chemung. When entering the Indian village, the 
war party that accompanied him set up the Wiir shout, when a posse 
of Indians and Indian boys sailed out and met them; pulling the 
young prisoner from the horse he was riding, they scourged him 
with whips and beat him cruelly with the handles of their toma- 
hawks — subjected him to one form of their gauntlet — until his 
master humanely rescued him. lie was soon after sold by his 
master to an Indian family of Delawares, and taken to reside with 
them at their village on the south side of the Delaware river, where 
he remained during the year 1779, suffering a good deal during the 
winter for the want of warm clothing, and in consequence of the 
scanty fare of the Indians. To inure him to cold, the Indians com- 
pelled him almost daily, to s'rip and plunge into the ice and water 
of the river. Adopted by the family who had become his owners, 
he was kindly treated, and accompanied them in all their hunting 
and fishing excursions. 

He was at Newtown with his captors, when Sullivan invaded 
their country, and used to relate what transpired there : — As the 
army api)roached Newtown point, a large body of Indians collected 
four miles below to make an attack, after having placed their squaws, 
prisoners and baggage in a safe place. They soon found they could 
not stand their ground, and sent runners to the squaws directing 
them to retreat up the river to Painted Post, where they followed 
them soon after. The whole made a hasty march to Niagar.i, via 
Bath, Ceneseo and Tonawanda. The family to whom Parrish be- 
longed were of this retreating party. In a short time after their 
arrival, nearly the whole of the Six Nations were encamped on the 
plain, in the vicinity of the Fort. They subsisted upon salted pro- 
visions curing the winter, dealt out to them from the British garrison, 
and great numbers died in consotjuence. To induce them to dis- 
perse and go back to their villn.gos on the Genesee river, or go out 
on scouting parties, the British oilicers offered them an increased 
bounty for American scalps. 

Before winter young Parrish was sold for twenty dollars, to Cap- 
tain Dnvid Hill, ''a large fmo looking Mohawk Indian,"' a relation 
of Joseph Brant, who conducted him to his tent and gave him to 



understnnd that he would thereafter live with him. He disliked 
the change of . .asters at the time : it involved the nccessitv of 
learning another Indian language, and he had become attached to the 
Delaware family ; but it all turned out for the best. He resided in 
the family of Captain Hill for five years, in all of which time he 
was kindly treated, and well provided for. His time was chiefly 
spent in accompanying the Indians in travelling excursions, hunting, 
firihing, and when put to labor, but light tasks were imposed upon 
him. Soon after he was purchased by Captain Hill, a general 
council of the British and Indians took place at Fort Niagara; upon 
which occasion Capt. Hill took his young American captive into the 
midst of an assembly of chiefs, and adopted him as his son, going 
through the ceremony of placing a large belt of wampum around 
his neck. After which an old chief took him by the hand and 
made a speech, as is customary on such occasions, accompanying it 
with a great deal of solemnity of manner. Then the chiefs arose 
and all«ehook hands with the adopted captive. 

On one occasion, while with the Delaware family at Niagara, he 
came near being the victim of the British bounty for scalps. Left 
alone with some Indians who wei'c on a carousal, he overheard one 
propose to another, that they should kill the "young Yankee," take 
his scalp to the Fort and sell it for rum. In a few minutes one of 
them took a large brand from the fire and hurled it at his head, but 
being on the alert, he dodged it and made his escape. The Indians 
pursued him, but it being dark he was enabled to avoid them. 

In May, 1780, Brant founded a village of Mohawks near the pres- 
ent village of Lewiston, to vvhich Capt. Hill removed. There Par- 
rish remained until the close of the Revolution. He travelled with 
his Indian father a good deal among other Indian tribes, by whom 
he was always well treated. At the treaty of Fort Stanwix, in 1784, 
he with other prisoners, were surrendered in accordance with treaty 
stipulations. He immediately joined his father's family, whom he 
found in Goshen, Orange county. Having nearly lost the use of 
his own language, he attended school for about one year, which was 
all the opportunity for acquiring an education he ever enjoyed, 
otlier than what a strong native intellect enabled him to acquire in 
his intercourse with the world. 

He was employed by Mr. Pickering in his Indian treaty in 1790, 
and '91, and his qualifications as an interpreter, together with his 



character for faithfulness and integrity, coming to the knowledge 
of the then Secretary of War, General Knox, he employed him in 
the Indian department in 1792, giving him a letter to General Cha- 
pin, with ivhom he became associated as interpreter for the Six 
Nations. In all the crisis of Indian difficulties, he was the active 
co-oi)erater of General Chapin, ain] contributed much to the final 
adjustment of them. A " winged Mercury," in the earliest years 
his appointment after he was now here, and now there ; alter- 
nating between the seat of government, at Philadelphia, Buflalo 
Creek, Genesee River, Onondaga, Oneida and Canandaigua ; the 
interpreter at councils, and the bearer of messages. The captive 
boy of the Indian wigwams, becoming a man, remembered only the 
virtues and kindnesses of his captors — not the wrongs they had 
intlicted upon him or his countrymen — and was the faithful inter- 
preter of their complaints and grievances to him, whom they called 
their "Father, the great chief of the Thirteen Fires" — Washino-. 
ton. In 1803 he had the additional appointment of local Indian 
agent, and continued to hold both offices, through all the changes 
of the administration of the general government, down to the 
second term of General Jackson's administration. 

He retained to the close of his life, a strong attachment to the 
Indians, as was the case generally with liberated captives ; and by 
means of his position, and the influence he had acquired with 
them, was enabled to render them essential service ; to assist in 
ameliorating their condition, by introducing among them the Chris- 
tian religion, schools and agricultural pursuits. While a prisoner, 
he acquired the Mohawk language, and before the close of his life, 
he spoke that of five of the Six Nations with great fluency. 
Captain Parrish died at his residence in Canandaigua, July 12th, 
1836, in the 69th year of his age. 

He married in early life, a daughter of General Edward Paine, 
one of the Pioneers of the western Reserve, and the founder of 
Painesville. She died in 1837. His surviving sons are, Isaac, a 
farm^'- on the Lake shore, near Canandaigua ; Stephen and Ed- 
ward, residents of the village of Canandaigua. One of his daughters 
became the wife of Ebenezer S. Cobb, of Michigan, who was lost 
with the ill-fated Erie, near Dunkirk, in 1841 ; another, the wife 
of Peter Townsend, of Orange county ; and another, the wife of 
William W. Gorham, of Canandaisxua. 

pirELrs Amy gorhams pukciiasb. 





The reader has already learned, generally, what was the temper 
and bearing of the British authorities in Canada, touching the early 
Pioneer movements in the Genesee country. A British and Indian 
alliance, a connected movement, having in view the re-possession 
of the country, was with much difficulty but barely prevented. 
In all the controversy — or pending the issue of the whole matter — 
';here was, other than what may have transpi-ed at the west, but 
one overt act, in pursuance of Britisli pretensions and threats. This 
was an actual invasion, by a British armed force, of the Genesee 
country, at Sodus Bay. 

Previous to coming in possession of the valuable manuscripts of 
the late Thomas Morris, the author bad drawn up for this work, an 
account of the events the materials for which were derived prin- 
cipally from the papers of Mr. Williamson. Mr. Morris having 
included it in his reminiscences, it being a matter, " all of vvliich 
he saw, and a part of which he was," his L'story of the transaction 
is substituted : — 

" Gov. Simcoe had, from his first assuming the government of 
Upper Canada, evinced the greatest jealousy of the progress of t'iC 
settlement of our western country ; he was even said to have 
threatened to send Captain WiHiamson to England in irons, if he 
ever ventured to come into Canada. In 1794, Capt. Williamson 
had commenced a settlement at Sodus Bay. 

In the month of August of that year, Lieut. SheafTe, of the 
British army, (now Major General Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe, who, 
durir.g the last war, commanded at the battle of Queenstnn, after 
[AC (l■■^[h of Gov.. Brock,) was sent by Governor Simcoe, with a 



protest to 1)0 delivered to Cnptiiin Williamson, i.rotosfinir no-ninst 
the prosecution of the settlement of Sodus. and all other Ameri- 
can settlements beyond the old French line, durini: the inexecution 
of the treaty that terminate.l the Revolutionary war. Findincr 
there only an .■.-jcnt of Mr. Willian)son's, (a Mr. Modat, who is yc^ 
livmji,) Lieut. Sheatlb intorn.ed him of the nature of his mission, 
andre(iuestedhinitomake it known to Capt. Williamson, and to 
inform hnn that he would return in ten days, when he hoped to 
meet Capt. Williamson there. Mr. MolTat came to mo at Canan- 
daigua, to acquaint me with what had taken place, and induce me 
to accompany him to Bath, to confer with Capt. Williamson in re- 
lation to this very extraordinary protest. I accordinolv went to 
Bath, and it was agree.l between Capt. Williamson and niyself that 
we would both meet Lieut. Sheallo at So.h.s, at the time lie had ap- 
pointed to be there. Acconlingly, on the day named by Lieut 
bhealle, we were at So<lus ; and shortly after our arrival there we 
perceived on the lake, a boat rowed' by about a dozen British 
soldiers, who, after landing their ollicer, were directe.l by him to 
pull ofT some distance in the bay, and remain there until he made a 
signal to return for him. Capt. Williamson, in consequence of the 
threats imputed to Gov. Simcoe, in relation to himself did not think 
proper to expose himself unnecessarily to any act of violence, if 
any such should have been meditated against"^ him. He therefore 
requested me to receive Lieut. Sheaife on tiie beach, an<l to ac- 
company him to the log cabin where Capt. W illiamson was, with a 
brace of loaded pistols on his table. The ordenng his men to re- 
main at a distance from the shore, shows that tlie precaution that 
had been taken, though proper at the time, was unnecessary 
and that no resort to force was intended. The meotinq between 
the Lieut, and Mr. Williamson, was friendly; they had known each 
other before ; and while in the same service, had marched throu-h 
some part of England together. The Lieut, handed to Capt. Wil 
Iinmsan the protest, and was desired by the Capt. to inform Gov- 
Suiicoe that he would pay no attention to it, but prosecute his set- 
tlement, the same as if no such paper had been delivered to him ; 
that if any attempt should be made forcibly to prevent hiin from' 
doing so, that attempt would be repelled loy force. Lieut. SheafTe 
having, (luring the interview between them, made some allusion to 
Capt. Williamson having once held a commission in the British 



army, ho replied, that while in the service of the Crown, he had 
faithfully performed his duty ; that having since renounced his al- 
legiance to that Crown, and became a citizen of the United States, 
his adopted country, having both the ability and the inclination, 
would protect him in his rights, and the possession of his property. 
I asked Lieut. Shealle if he would be so good as to exi)lain what 
was meant by the old French lir.e, where it ran, und what portion 
of our country we were forbidden in Gov. Simcoe's protest, to oc- 
cupy. He replied, that he was merely the bearer of the paper ; that 
by the orders of his superior oiricer, he had handed it to Capt. Wil- 
liamson ; that no explanation had been given to him of its purport, 
nor was he authorized to give any. After about half an hour, I 
accompanied him to the beach, where he had landed ; and on a 
signal having been made by him, his boat returned for him, and he 
deported. This is what my father, in his letter of the 10th of Sep- 
tember, 1794, alludes to, and terms a treaty, and f)r which he hopes 
that Simcoe will get a rap over the knuckles from his master. So 
many years have elapsed since the complaints made both by the 
British and our own Government, were adjusted by negotiation, 
that you may be at a loss to know what Governor Simcoe meant 
when he spoke of the inexecution of the treaty that terminated our 
llevolutionary struggle. The complaint on the part of Great 
Britain, was, that those parts of the treaty which required that 
those States in which British subjects were prevented by law, from 
recovering debts due to them prior to the Revolution, had been re- 
pealed, — as by the treaty, they ought to have been, — and also, 
that British property had been confiscated, since the period limited 
in the treaty for such confiscations, and no compensation had 
been made to the injured parties. On our part, the complaint was, 
that after the cessation of hostilities, negroes and other property, 
were carried away by the British army, contrary to stipulations en- 
tered into by the preliminary treaty of peace. The British retain- 
ed itossession of the posts on our borders, and within our bounds, 
until an amicable .settlement of these ditficultien, and which settle- 
ment, I think, took place in 1796." 

NoTK. — ^^Tlie Odiivoivatidii Itint juissimI liotwei'u Mr. Williainsdii and Lieut. Slieaffe, 
as copied from Mr. Williainsdii's autdtrra|ili, is as t'dUows : — 

LiKVT. Shkakke. — " I am C()iiiiuissi<iiiu(l by Governor Sinicoo to deliver tlie papers, 
ant! reuuiie an arjswer." 

Mr. vVii.i,i.\msox. — "I am a citizen of the L^nited States, and under theii- authori- 



The news of this hostile dcnionstration on the jiart of one, secm- 
inj; to act l»y authority from the IJritisli ^'overnnient, was soon 
s|)iea(l throui^h all the hackwoods seftjeinents of the Genesee coun- 
try. At no jn-riod since the settlement coinnionced, had the con- 
dilcl of till' Indians so riiiich favored the worst a|)|)relu!nsions. Ilar- 
niar and St. t'lair had in turn been defeated and r('|iulsed hy the 
weritern Indians, and the issue that Wayne had niado with them 
was pending; in"s defeat beinj^ not im|)rohal)Ie, in view of the for- 
midahle enemy with which he had to contend. Mvidences of 
IJritish aid to the western Indians, ajfainst General Wayne, was 
furnished hy returniii'^ adventur.Msfrom the west, and every travel- 
ler thai came throuu;!i the wilderness from Niatj;ara, confirmed the 
worst suspicions of all that was going on at that focus of liritish 
machinations, against the peace of the defenceless border settlers. 
It was, too, oiiiiiioiis of danger, that tho Senecas in their immedi- 
ate neighborhood, in their midst, it may almost be said, had armed and 
moved off in considerable numbers, to become confederates against 
General Wayne, bearing upon their persons the blankets, the broad 
cloths, calicoes, and whr decorations, served to them from the kind's 
store house at Niagara, by the hands of one whose very very name* 
was a terror, for it was mingled with the chiefest horrors, and 
the darkest deeds of the Border Wars of the Kevolutiun. Wayne 
defeated, it was but natural to that the Senccas who had gone 
west and made themselves confederates against him, would brine 
back with them upon tlieir war path, allies from the western tribes, to 
renew the i)loody scenes that had been enacted upon the banks of the 
Mohawk and Susquehannah. fSueh being the cotemi)orary state 

tynmii)roti<ctinii, I ikisscsm these lands. I kiunv iii> iii;lit tli;if his liritaiinie Miijestv, 

or (h)v. Siiiu'iie, has to iiilcrC'ie, <ii- leM me. Tlie (iiil\ iille^'iaiice 1 dwi' In aiiy 

|)(>wer on earlh, is |o t\w . iiileil dilates : and so far Iroin heiiii,' inliniidated hv threats 
ironi peo|ih'l liavc no eonneelion « ilh, I sh.ali proeecd willi'inv ini|inivetne'Mls; and 
iiothini,- lint superior I'oree ahall make me abandon the pla^'e. Is the protest <il' (!ov. 
Simeoe iutendeil (o apply to .Sodiis, e.\cliisivelv V" 

LiKi T. — •■ l>y no means ! li is inU-nded to endirace all tlu^ Indian lands 
I'lnrhased since the peaee of 17!s;i." 

Mil. U'ri.ii.vMsus. — ".Nnd what are (lov. Simeoe's intentions, snpixisin"- the nrotost 
i.s disri'M-arded V ' 

l.iK;-r. SuKVKKK. — "I am merely the ollieial lir.aror vl' tlii' pajiers ; hut I have a 
Anther nie.'^saue to deliver from (iov. Simeoe ; which is that he rejiroliates your con- 
duct exccediiiirly lor endeavorini; lo ohiain llour from I'jiper Canada ; and llial should 
lie iierniil il, it would he acknuwledgiiiy the riyht of the Tiiitetl Slates tu these In- 
iliau lands.'" 

"Col. J oliu Butler. 

pinara and gcril^^^i's i'urcitase. 


of tliiniTs, it is liardly to he wondered, that the landing of <a small 
body of British trnr)j)s upon the soil of tlie Cenesee country ; though 
they came but small in numhers, their errand but to bring a threat- 
ening protest, was a circumstance of no trifling magnitude. And the 
reader will not fail to take into the account, how fi;e!)le in nurrdjers, 
how exposed, and how weak in all things necessary to a successful 
defence, was the then new settlernjnts of the Genesee country. In 
all this he will be aided by a brief retrospect of the commencement 
and [trogress of settlement ; and added to what this will show, 
should !)(■ the consideration, that the settlers came iiito tiie wilder- 
ness unpre|)ared for war. They came, relying upon a treaty ot 
peace. Wearied with war and all its harrassing ellects, they had 
more than figuratively beat their swords into ploughshares, and 
their sppars into j)runing hooks. They had come to subdue the wil- 
derness, and not to subdue their fellow men. The rumors of war 
cairie to the sparse settlemisnts, and the solitary log-cabins dotted 
down in the wilderness, like the decrees of fate, to be added to all 
the sulVerings and endurances of pioneer life. But a few weeks 
previous to all this, there had been, as if by concert, a far more than 
usual emigration of New York Indians to Canada. They went from 
most of the Six Nations, in detatched jiorties, and a very large pro- 
portion of the Onondagas had emigrated in a body. The demeanor 
of the .Senecas had undergone a marked change. By some unseen 
but suspected influence, they had become morose and quarrelsome. 
A I'ar more than usual number of outrages were committed u})on 
the new settlers ; in fact, the principal ones that are now remem- 
bered, liap|)ened about this period. These facts were not without 
their inlhience in converting the circumstances of the landing of an 
armed force at Sodus Bay, into a preliminary measure, the secjuel 
of which might prove the breaking out of a general war, having 
for its object the recovery of the soil of the Genesee country by 
the Indians, and the bringing of it again under British dominion 

It will surprise those who are not familiar with early events in the 
Genesee country, when tl.'cy are told that as late as 1791 — eight 
years after settlement had been commenced, there was but little of 
intercourse or communication with Albany and New York ; Phila- 
delphia and Baltimore, and especially the latter, had far more inti- 
mate relations with all this region. To the papers of those cities, 
the settlers in those then backwoods looked for news, and in them 






events transpirinnr here were generally recorded. On the first of 
September, tiie alfair at Sodus was announced in the Maryland 
Gazette, in a letter from Philadelphia, accompanied by the intelli- 
gence that an express had arrived at the then seat cf government 
with desi)atclies for the War Office. ' 

Immediately after the departure of Lieut. SheafTe, Mr. William- 
son, with theco-operationof other prominent citizens, adopted the 
rnost energetic measures, as well for the purpose of preparin<r tbr 
the contingency, which he had good reasons for supposing would 
occur, alter what had transpired at So.lus, as to give assurances of 
Safety and protection to the inhabitants. 

He not only despatched an express rider to the seat of govern- 
ment, as indicated by the correspondent of the Maryland Gazette, 
but he also despatche<l one to Albany. He forwarded' by these mes- 
sengers letters to Edmund Randolph, Secretary of State to Gen 
Knox, Secretary of War. and to Gov. George Clinton. In these 
letters he detailed all that had transpired, suggested some measures 
ot protection, and gave asurances that the mandate of Gov Sim- 
coe would be disregarded. In the letter to Gen. Knox, he says • _ 
" It IS pretty well ascertained that for some time past, quantities of 
military stores and ammunition have been forwarded to Oswego 
This makes me think it not improbable that Lieut. Sheaflb will take 
a forcible possession of Sodus on his return. I shall, however with- 
out relaxing, go on with my business there, until drove olf bv a 
superior force. It is heedless for me to trouble you with any com- 
ments on this unparalleled piece of insolence, and gross in.ult to 
the government of the United States." 

Mr. Williamson wrote a letter to Sir William Pulteney, in which 
nc suvs *■ -■ 

" T shall inakonofurtlier comment on this business, than to observe tint 
nay linng slu.rt of actual liostilitios, it eom,,]etes the u u^iSlS t^^ on 
.1. t ot Mr. .Snncoo toward thi. g,.vernme,lt. Mr. Simce's p s c of nv 

iu h'm" J" ; " ""''"^; ^" ^''^ *"'^^ ^'■'■'^"' i» thisoounln- .' d op 
laia sciu'incs lie li.-is nrevcut.v everv iio<siIiilitv ,^f^ -n, .,... . i .• i' ^ 

tljiseountn- and thelstile Indiaus," aid .S:^,;^, i^ 1 ! i ^1 Ic t' K 

N., ' n''' ""^* ^T' '""^ '^■^' undone to indue ll„. Six 

Na ons, our neighbors, to take up tlio batch.t die moment ho gives tl ' u . r 1 
\oumust ,eaniuamt..d with his marching a body ot\.nii;i t o ,. • i 
^-.vctmg a tort at theKapids of the Miami scven,;y^ miles withi, ^ L^nt^y 



of the United States, Lut this being an extensive wilderness, seemed of less 

" Nnt content with this, h<» lias now interfi'ivil witli our sr-ttlenients, in a 
manner so unlike the ilijjrnity of a yreat nation that it must astonish yon, If it 
L« tlieintt'ntii)n of tlie Drilish ministry, by low and underhand sehenu-s, to keep 
alive a harrassing war a^'ainst heljijcss women and children, or by murders on 
this frontier, to add to the list of nuirders already committcilby the intluenee 
of tlieir serv;mts her<', and to treat this <i;i iNcrnnuMit with the most nn\\ arrantable 
insolence and contem]it. 1 allow tiiat Mr. Siimoe is the most iiKhisirious and 
faithfid servant the British o-ovemnient ever had. But if 'I is theii' intention 
to cultivate a frieiully intereonrse \\ith this countiy, it never can take ]ilace 
■while sueh is the conduct of their (iovernorhere. For my own part, I think 
it woulil lie doing the government of Great Britain a most essential service, 
should their intentions towards this country be friendly, to show to their min- 
istry the i< induct of (iov. Simcoe; and 1 write this letter that you may ^how it 
to Mr. Dundas, or Mr. Pitt, if you think projier. Their knowledge of me, I 
anr conxinced, will gi\e it sniticient weight. If these transactions are in con- 
sequence of orders from (Ireat llritain, and their views are hostile, there is 
nothing further to be said." 

While all this was progressing, in four days after the affair at Sodus 
in fact, before Gov. Sinicoe would liave had time to execute his 
threats, the great measure of deliverance for the Genesee country 
and the few scattered border settlers of the west, had been con- 
summated. " Mad Anthony, " — [and there had been " method in 
his madness, "] — had met the confederated bands of the hostile 
Indians cf the west, and almost under the walls of a fortress of their 
British allies, achieved a signal victory! Those upon whom Gov. 
Simcoe was relying for aid, (for it is evident that he looked to a 
descent of the western Indians upon the Genesee country in case 
the war was renewed,) — were humbled and suing for peace. 
This alone would have averted his worst intentions, and added to 
this, was the consideration that Mr. Jay had sailed for London on 
the 12th of May, chjthed with ample powers from our government 
to arrange all matters of dispute. 

Those familiar with the history of our whole country in the 
earliest years of its separation from England, are aware how im- 
portant was the well planned and successful expedition of General 
Wayne. Important in its immediate conse(iuences — the putting 
an end to protracted, harrassing Indian treaties, and tliefotniding of 
tliat great empire of wealth, prosperity, and unparralleled progress, 
our western states, liut few can now realize its local consequence, 
in the Genesee country. It gave security where there was little of 
it beiore, inspired hope and confidence with those who were half 



■ ■ 




determined to retrace the weary steps that had brought them into 
the wilderness, for they felt that if war was to be added to all the 
sufferings and privations they were encountering, it were better to 
abandon the field, if not forever, to a period more propitious. The 
news of Wayne's victory was communicated by Ijrant to Gpn. 
Chapin, and it circulated briskly among tlie backwoods settlements. 
Here and there was seen small gatherings of Pioneer settlers, con- 
gratulating each other upon the event, and taking fresh courage to 
grapple with the hardships of Pioneer life. All was confirmed,°when 
in a lew days, the Senecas were seen coming back upon their war 
path, humbled, quaking with tear at the mere recollection of the terri- 
ble onslaught that Mad Anthony had made upon the dusky letWons 
that had gathered to oppose him, and uttering imprecations a-niinst 
those who had lured them from home to take part in the contest 
and then remamed far away iVom danger, or shut themselves up in 
a strong fortress, but spectators in a conflict in which they and 
their confederates were falling like autumn leaves in a shower of 

The haughty spirit of the descendants of the warlike Iroquois 
was humbled within them, and chagrined by the terrible discomfit- 
ure they had witnessed, and been partakers of, as well as by the 
bad faith of their advisers and abettors at Niagara, they resolved to 
settle down quietly in their villages, and renew their peaceful and 
amicable relations with their white neighbors. 

As early as the 3d of July, preceding'^the visit of Lieut. Sheaffe, 
to Sodus, a representation had been made to the War Department,' 
of the exposed condition of the new settlers in the Genesci coun- 
try, the danger of Indian disturbances promoted by British agents 
at Niagara, and the necessity of some means of defence. To wliich 
Gen. Knox, the Secretary of War, had replied in substance, that 
some official use had been made of the communication, by the Sec 

NOTI...-1 lore are some ainusinij aiHTilotoH of (hordaticnsDiat the n-hirniii- Iiidi- 

<lm.,s jjMv. .,1 tl.e .atil.. I,, its cm .'t, Wavn.. l,a,l ,na,l,. lii.nsrlf n tV , n' .., m.,.v than Innna,,. His y^-,. a ^varthr,.■ thw l,a,l uuu^dV--\,Z^;;^:u^ 
cmslun,. : „,sp,nn.^ a tenor thai ooM,,u.rea as ..K.otimllv as his ar , A S ' wl ^ 
camo auav n, an early sfa^e of the l.a.fle, Laviuj. seen ,|uite enough to frn,tif v is',^ " 

^wi hi 'V ;"''rf""'''>,^''"i""" ""'"'"^"'t -'•''- author: tho'reason tor s 
piec iil,.te retreat, lie sai.i ,u h.s irraphic deserij.t.ou of the opening, of the li.^h' 
- lop pop l.op,-.hoo, woo, woo-o.oo,_wish. wish, wi^li-J-ee.-ho,., woo'l- 
^ Liv •'' "^"'"^ """' """■'• "" -""^'' kv.l-nl" TJiis the reader will ui o„c-o 

r^h !! ,:; .IVr'L"' ^:';'lf '" ;'"";"" ""! ,«'■"'*? "f «'""11 '""'H and cannon, and the 
wiu/^' o! till.- tu=e, uiid ihu burstnig oi Loinba. 




retavy ot War, in his correspondence with the British Minister, 
that a conlerence was to be held with the Six Nations at Canandai- 
gua, in Septeuib'^r, for the purpose of concihating, and establishing 
finally a peace with them if possible. In reply to an application 
for arms, the Secretary says, that an order had been issued in favor 
of the Governor of New York, for one thousand muskets, cartridge 
boxes, and bayonets. 4 

The following copy of a letter from President Washington to Mr. 
Jay, our then minister in London, possesses much of a general 
historical interest, and will aid the reader in a full understanding of 
the questions then at issue, so far as this local region wasc oncerned : 

"ArcjusT, 30, 1704. 

"As you will receive letters from the Secretary of IState.s' utlice, gi\iiig' an 
official account of the public occurrences as they ha\-e arisen and advanced, 
it is unnei'i'ssary for nie to retouch any of them ; and yet I cannot ivstiain my- 
self from uiakin^'some observations on the most recent of them, tlie commu- 
nication of whicli wiis receiveil this mornino- only. I mean the protest of tho 
Governor of Upper Canad;i, delivered by Lieutenant Hlieatfe, against our oc- 
cupving lands far fnun any of the jiosts, whicli, long ago, tliey ought to have 
surrendered, and far within the known, and uutil now, the acknowledged 
limits of the United States. 

" On this irregular and high handed proceeding of Mr. Simcoe, which is 
no longer masked, I wtndd rather licar what the ministry of (treat Liiuain will 
sav, than ]ironounce my own sentiments thereon. litit can that government, 
or\vill it altemjjt, after this oflicial act of one of their governoi-s, to hold out 
ideas of friendly iiilentions towai'ds the United States, and sutler such con- 
duct to pass with impunity ? 

"This may be considered a.s tht most open and daring act of tho British 
atrents in AnuM'ica, though it is not the most hostile and ciiiel : for there 
does not lemain a doubt in the mind of any well informed i)erson in this 
country, not shut against conviction, i\\\\i all the difficidties 'we cncounler with 
the ludi'iiis, their hostililieif, the murders of helpless women and ehildren, 
along oxr frontiers, result from the conduct of agents of Great Britain in 
this couiilri/. In vain is it then for its administration in Biitain, to disavow 
having giv(,'n orders which will warrant such conduct, whilst their agents go 
unpuni>he(l ; while we have a thousand corroborating circumstances, and 
indeed as many evidences, some of which cannot be I irought forward, to prove 
that thin arc seducing from our alliances, and endea\oiing to remove over tho 
line, tribes that ' ive hitherto been kept in peace and friendship with us at a 
he;\vv e.\[H'nse, and who have no causes of complaint, except pretended ones 
of their ei'eating ; whilst they keep in a state of irritation the tribes that wq 
li'istileto us, and are instigating those who know litUe of us, or we of them, 
to unite ill the war against us ; and whilst it \i-an undeuialile fact, that they 
are furi</-<hiuij the whole with amis, ammunition, clothing, ami even jiro- 
I'isions In carry on the war. I might go farther, and if thev are not much 
behed, add, men also in disguise. 





" Can it bo oxpectc.], I ask, so lonj. a.s tli^se t Inn-s an- kn.nvn i„ tl.- United 
tnac tiKu ner ^vlll u ■ ,,m I,., any cnr.l.alitv belw.rn tlu; two cuiuiiri,..^ 1 

i 1 t,nn lonn It (lies,. i,„,sts a.v nu, sunvn.l.n,,!. 7V km^^h.hv . f tI„>.o b.-in^r 
i.i> M.nlnn,.„.s, would bavobut little wd^^bt, I an,,H.>.„adoirwI,h h. i; '? 
nd mms ,.a..>n, orp..,.I,a,. wi,b tlu-nation, i„ Hil.,,!n.t!,.. ,„r s b, 
nu K. sat,shH, tint .f tl...y want to b. at peace with Ibis eonnf v. m o 
\V 1 di,: I't ''^'•''^''^- to givenp the posts is the <mlv road to i' 




The advent of these two brothers to the Genesee country, marks 
an era „. our early local history. They were from ihe first, 
large landholders and patroons of new settlements, and for many 
years uifnnatoly and conspicuously blended with the jiro-n-ess of 
nnprovement. The connection of their family with Col. feremiah 
^\ adsworth, of Hartford, Co.ul, was the primary cause of their 
early enterprise ; of whom, as he was an early and large proprietor 
of land, by purchase from Phelps and Gorham. it will not be out of 
phice to speak, incidentally. He was the son of the R,.v. Daniel 
Wadsworth, ot Hartford. Entering uj.on a sea-faring life in early 
years, or the benefit of his health, first as a sailor before the masf 
and afterwards as mate and captain, he finally settled down in 
Hartford, vvdiere he resided upoa the breaking out of the Revolution- 
ary war. He received the ai)pointment of commissarv of the Con- 
necticut line, and following that app; intment, he had important trusts 
committed to his charge, not only by Connecticut, but bv the Con- 
gress at 1 hiladc-lphia, having relereuce generally to the pa'v. clothincr 

riiELPs AND gori[a:\i s purchase. 


and subsistence of the Continental troops. Soon after the arrival 
of Iloeliiiniheau, with the Frcnr'i army, their subsistence was en- 
trusted to his charge, jointly with Jolni B. Church. He was one 
of those with whom Gen. Washington made an early acquaintance 
when the great crisis arrived, and in whose hospitable mansion, at 
Hartf(.)rd, he was wont to meet, and have social intercourse and 
consultation with its owner, and other prominent men of the Revo- 
lution. It was the taking down and removal of this old mansion, 
that suggested the following leautilul lines of Mrs. Sigourney : — 

" Fallen dome, beloved »i •well, 
Tluni eould'st many a legend tell 
Of Iho cliiefs of ani'icnl lamp, 
Wlio, to'u thy shelter came : — 
Riii'liiimlicaii and La Fayette, 
]{onnd thv jilenlcdus board liave met, 
With Columbia's mi^ditier son, 
Great and glorious WAsiiiMiTox. 
Hero with kindred minds they plann'd 
Kescue for au infant land ; 
While the Bntisli Lion's roar 
Ecliu'd round the leagur'd sliore." 

Annali cf Conn., by R R Hinman. 

"The services of Col. Wadsworth, during some periods of the 
war," says a biographer, " were incalculable." He was a member 
of the 1st, 2d, and 3d Congress. He died in ISOl, aged Gl years. 

Mr. Pheli)s having been in the commissary department during the 
Revolution, he had made the acquaintance of Col. Wadsworth, and 
soon after he obtained title, induced him to make investments in the 
Genesee country.* He purchased T, 0, R. 9, a part of T. 11, R. 
7, and one 12th of " Big Trce."t Being a man of wealth, and con- 
sidcrablv advanced in years, their purchases were for investment 
and and re-sale, rather than with any intention to emigrate. 

William and James Wadsworth were natives of Durham, Conn., 
the sons of John N. Wadsworth. James Wadsworth graduated at 
Yale College, in 1787, and spent the winter of '87 and '88, in Mon- 
treal, employed in school teaching. The father had died before 
James ^graduated at College, and left the homestead in Durham, 
which would have been called a " fair estate" in New England, to 
his three children, the care of which had devolved upon the elder 
brother, William. Iti the Spring of 1790, at a period when James, 
then 22 vears of age, was undetermined as to the pursuits of life — 

I! ji 





hesitating between tlie alternatives of seeking his fortune in the south- 
ern states, and acquiring the profession of law, and settling down in 
New England, his kinsman, Col. Jeremiah Wadsworth, proposed to 
him emigration to the Genesee country, the sale to him of a part 
c*" his tract at " Big Tree," upon advantageous terms, and an 
agency that would embrace the care and sale of his remaining lands. 
After consulting with his brother William, making it a condition of 
the proposed emigration that he should accompany him, the two 
brothers agreed jointly to accept the proposition. 

In Juno, after a work of preparation which was of no little mag- 
nitude in New England, preliminary to an advent to this then far 
off and secluded wilderness ; amid the farewells of kindred and 
friends, in which were mingled sad forebodings of the dangers and 
vicissitudes the bold adventurers were about to encounter, thev com- 
menced their journey. William, the practical working man of the 
two, so far as manual labor was concerned, started with an ox team 
and cart, two or three hired men and a colored woman, a favorite 
slave belonging to the family. J James came via the Sound, and the 
Hudson, and the water route from Schenectady to the head of navi- 
gation on Canandaigua outlet, in charge of provisions and a small 
amount of household furniture. William, with his oxen and cart, 
made sl(nv progress. The winter sleigh I'oad west of Whilosboro, 
had to be adapted to wheels as they progressed ; logs had to be cut 
and moved out of the track, and small streams and sloughs had to 
be cause-waycd. Arriving at Cayuga Lake, there was no ferry 
scow, and the party chartered two Indian canoes, which they lashed 
together, and making a deck of poles, succeeded in crossing. Be- 
tween Whitcsboro and Canandaigua their average progress was 
but twelve miles per day. The parties reunited at Canandaigua, 
James having arrived three days in advance. 
After making some necessary preparations, the whole partv start- 

* Or, ns is mii(o jiroliiiblo, Col. Wailsworth mny Lave Lad an interest, originally, 
with Messrs. rliolps and Gorhain. 

t To wliicli, James and William alterivards added a tentli, making the original 
Wadoworth tract at Geiieseo, about 5,(IU0 acres. 

t The identical "Jenny." She was for a hnvjr time almost the only one of her rare, 
in that region ; and an object of curiosity wiili the younger portion of flic hacJi- 
voodsmen. Turning to tliu travels of Liancoui,, \ve ivil thai on the niornihg lie left 
"Big Tree," she was (jiRuiingand powdering "Capt. WadsAvortli's" hair, j)reparatory 

to his departure for'Cai fuiaigua to "vivii'V/a p.,;ry of ^i M;'-..-. (;S.-r lie is 

L'fi; t.MU.' 



ed from Canandfiigua, with all the eftects with which they had left 
Durham, to which had heen added i small stock of cattle, purchased 
upon the Mohawk. They took the Indian trail and Sullivan's 
route, clearinij; their road for the passage of their cart, as they went 
along, camping the first night at " Pitt's Flats," and the next, at the 
foot of Conesus Lake. Breaking up their encampment in the 
morning, James, on horseback, with one companion, preceded the 
rest of the party, and pursued the Big Tree trail; William, with 
the oxen, cart, and other effects, following after, took the Branch 
trail that led to a large Indian village of the Oneidas, which was 
two miles below Big Tree, on the river. Wandering from the 
obscure trail, the party got lost, and brought up at night in a swamp 
about two miles north-east from Big Tree, tied their cattle to trees, 
and encamped. James, having spent the night at Big Tree, with 
his companion, in the woods, with no means of making an en- 
campment, took his back track in the morning ; arrived at the point 
where the Oneida trail branched off, followed the track of the cart 
wheels, and found the lost party, groping in the wilderness, un- 
determined as to the course they should pursue. He conducted the 
whole party to Big Tree, (Geneseo, the reader will bear in mind,) 
where they slept in the cart and upon the ground, for two or three 
nights, until they erected a rude cabin on the table land, a little be- 
low the present village, on the old River trail. On their arrival, 
they found, of their race, but one man, Lemuel Jennings, who had 
a cabin, and was herding some cattle on the flats for Oliver Phelps. 
James, returning to Canandaigua on the day he had located the 
party, on his way back, got benighted, but was attracted by a light, 
and pursuing the direction from which it proceeded, found the negro 
woman, Jenny, holding a light for his brother William, who was 
hewing some plank for their cabin floor. 

The arrival was upon the 10th of June. In August of tlie same 
year, 1790, when Gen. Amos Hall took the census, the family of 
William Wadsworth corsisted of nine persons. Beside him, there 
had then settled in the town.^hips, others who were regarded as 
heads of families: — Phineas Bates, Daniel Ross, Henry Brown, 
Enoch Noble, Nicholas Rosecrantz, David Robb, Nahuni Fair- 
banks. Horatio and John H. Jones had preceded the Wadaworths 
■a few weeks, and were over the river, occupying an Indian cabin, 
and the shantee they had built the year before. They had come in 



I" '. 

from Geneva, via Canandaigua and Avon, witli a cart, Horatio's 
wife and three children, household fiiriuture, and some hired men. 
Their cart was the first wheel vehicle that passed over that route. 
From Avon, they had no traok, but picked their way alon- the 
ridges and open n-rounds. Horatio Jones l)uilt a coinfortal)le block 
house the same year. Besides Horace Jones' family, tliere was in 
August, west of the river, on what was then called'" Indian lands," 
the families of William Ewing, * Nathan Fowler, and Jeremiah 
Gregorv. f 

The Indiiins residing ui)on the Genesee river in 1790, were loca- 
ted in villages, as follows : — At S(iuaky Hill, near lAfount Morris, 
there were a small cluster of cabins, and a few families. The men 
had been southern captives, who had intermarried, and n)erged 
themselves with the Senecas. The principal chief, was " Jjlack 
Chief." At " Allan's Hill." now Mount Morris, there were a few 
families ; their principal chief, " Tall Chief" He was a fine speci- 
men of his race, physically and otherwise. At Philadeli)hia, on a 
visit to Congre-s, with Horatio Jones, he commanded much atten- 
tion and respect. ' 

Little Beard's Town, a large village, was upon the present site 
of Cuylerville. The chief, Little ]}eard, was one of the worst 
specimens of his race. He was chiefly instrumental in the horrid 
massacre of Lieut. Boyd, and all the early Pioneers give him a bad 
character. The manner of his death in 1800, was but a just retri- 
bution for his many acts of cruelty in the l^mier wars : — In a 
drunken row, in which both Indians and whites were enga<red, at 
the old Stimson tavern, in Leicester, he was pushed out. if door, 
and falling froin the step.s, received an injury lliat caused his 

Big Tree, a considerable village, was upon the bluff, opposite 

S , V fT ! '"V^;-,"^^'"'^ '''"'■-'■ J''^v""i.': .•"iHitli.T son, (;<-o.-oW., was Si.Mc 
1^.,,, nt f,„ni Ir,. nn,l, nm\ w,-,s s.utl.d iu Nortli.milK.-lau,!, Pa., wheu f 

J- "li,^:'" ui Si:r.;;f :i ^^?' ^''•' "'"■>■" ^-''^ ^='« ""« "f <■'« ^''ite ^vivos ..f j^bone. 

..m .lanes in,) the pros.nt site of ul^ «hato S^lel^ ' ^''' "^"" ''^"" "'"" '''' 



Geneseo, upon the rivei-j now embraced in the farm of Eason Slo- 
cum ; Ken-de-wa, (Big Tree) was its principal chief. 

There was a small village of Tucaroras on the river, a little 
above t! 3 Geneseo bridge, which was called Tuscarora ; and two 
miles down the river from Geneseo, near the large Maple Giove of 
the Messrs. Wadsworths, was " Oneida Town," a large village of 
Oneidas. * 

The other, and a principal village, was on the west bank of the 
river, opposite Avon, near where the main road crosses the river, 
The chief was Ga-kwa-dia, (Hot Bread,) in high repute among his 
people, and much respected by the Pioneer settlers, f 

Gardeau, was the residence of the White Woman, and the several 
branches of her family went principally to make up the small 
village. Her husband was principal chief At Nunda, there 
was a small village; "Elk Hunter" and "Green Coat," were 
principal chiefs. 

At Caneadea there was a considerable village ; the head chief, 
John Hudson. He was an old man, and had been a leading 
" brave " in the southern Indian wars, waged by the Senecas, 
and afterwards, in the English and French wars. Hon. George 
Woods, a prominent citizen of Bedford, Pennsylvania, became a 
prisoner with the Indians, on the Ohio or the Allegany. Hudson 
porcured his release, after he had been condemned au.l tied to a 
stake. In after years, they met, and the Judge treated him with 
much kindness, making him a present of a fine house and lot at 

* The Oneidas and Tuscaroras were divided on the hrcakuig out of the Revolutiou. 
Those that adhered to the colonics, and llie jieiitrals, reniaiuins; in their eastern vil- 
lages; and those that followed Ihitler and Ihant, coining upon the Genesee River. A 
partial re-union of the Tuscaroras took place at their village near Lcwistou, in after 

fThis wa-s the birth place of Cornjilanter. In his letter to the Governor of Penn- 
sj'lvania, in lb'2'2, he says : — " 1 feel it my duty to send a speech to the (Governor of 
Pennsylvania at this time, and inform him the' place wliere I was from — which wag 
Conni'wauijiis, on the Genesee river." He then y;ues on to relate to the (T()vern<ir, that 
on trrowini; uj), the Indian hoys in the nei;;hborliood took notice of his skin being of 
a dillerent color from theirs, and on naming it to his mother, she told him who his 
white father was, and that he livt'd at Albany. He, after becoming a nian, souglit him 
out, and made himself known to him. He comj)laiiis that lie gave him victuals to 
at his house, Init "no ])rovisions to eat on the Avay home." "He gave me neither 
kettle nor gun, nor did he tell ine that the United States were about to rebel against 
Great Ibitain." This is authentic, and does away with the less tnithful, but more 
rom.-mtie version of the first iaterriew betwee-u Coruplaiitor aud his white father, 
O'Baii or " Abeel." 



Bedford, which he never occupied, but he used to often pride him- 
self upon its possession, and the munner in whicii he cnnie by it. 

In a ramble, to give the reader some account of their neighbors, 
the adventurers wlio were mere immediately under consideraticn, 
have almost been lost sight of We left Willinm Wadsworth hewing 
plank for their shantee, by cnndle light, and James emerging from 
the forest, where he had been lost on his return from Cananchiigua. 
The shantee went up, and the work of clearing a small spot of^p- 
land anrl preparing a few acres of flats for summer crops, was im- 
mediately commenced. There was from the first, a division of 
labor l)etween the two brothers : — William had been bred a 
farmer, and from habit and ])hysical constitution, waa well adapted 
to take the laboring oar in that department. Few men were better 
fitted for a Pioneer in the backwoods — to wrestle with the harsh- 
est features of Pioneer life —or for being merged in habits, social 
intercourse and inclinations, with the hardy adventurers who were 
his early cotemporaries. The backwoodsmen called him "Old 
Bill," and yet he had not reached his 30th year ; —not from any dis- 
respect, but as a kind of backwoods conventional nomenclature At 
a log house raising, " a bee," or a rude frolic, " he was one of them ;" 
and when there were any "doings" at "Old Leicester," "Pitt's 
Flats," or Williamsburg, he was pretty sure to be there. He took 
an early interest in the organization of the militia, and mingled 
with the recollections of the author's boyhood, is " General B^ill," 
at the fall musters, with his harsh, strong features, and bronzed 
complexion, mounted upon his magnificent black charger ; the 
" observed of all observers," the not inapt personification of the 
dark and frowning god of war; and to youthful backwoods eyes, 
he looked nothing le.5s. 

James, was by nature, of a difierent cast, and to natural incli- 
nations had been added the polish and the discipline of mind 
acquired in college halls, and a mingling in the most cultivated of 
New England society. The transition, the change of a New Eng- 
land home, for that of a cabin in the wilderness, and the associa- 
tions of the backwoods, was far less easy and natural ; thouirh by 
alternating between the settlement at " Big Tree, " and Cana^ndai- 

NcTE.— James Hiulson, the snn ami successor of Jolui. was one of tlm fi„o«t ^pfici- 

li,'.';ri',/i' ;!f T"'' I '''1 ''"'""' '"■?■' "' ^''° ""''"^y ^'■'^'» "*' ^^^ttli'ment. Staid and d .'iii- 
tieil 111 Ins aeportiiient, ]w was tnilv one of "Dftiire's no1.Ipi<ip,i " ^ 





j,'ua, Albany and Connecticut, he managed to accommodate himself 
very well lo circumstances. Ij)on him devolved the land agen- 
cy, and soon extending: its spiiore, and purchasino; Inrsoly on the 
joint account of himself and brother, even in early years, he be- 
came engrossed in a business of great magnitude. 

They had left behind thorn a large circle of family connexions 
and friendH in "old Durham, " and great was their concern for the 
rash adventurers who had pushed away on Ijejond the verge ^f 
civilization, and set down in the midst of wild beasts, and then l)ut 
recently hostile Indian tribes. How diifereut is now the spirit and 
feeling of the age ? Then, there had been brooding over New Eng- 
land the incubus of foreign dominion, binding, fettering enterprise, 
and confuiing it to nari-ow, sterile and unpropitious bounds ; until 
when the fetters were shaken off, it seemed rashness to venture 
upon the extension of settlement and civilization even to this fair 
region, where all would seem to have been so inviting and promis- 
ing. Now, under the blessings, the stimulus, the release from 
foreign thraldom, of something over half a century, our young men 
make a hasty preparation, and are off over a wide ocean track, foun- 
ding villages and cities on the Pacific coast, in the interior, and fol- 
lowing up, up, the dark ravines of the Sierra Nevada, are making 
their camps upon its slope and its summit ; and in fond kindred 
circles at home, there is less concern for them than there was for 
the young adventurers who pushed out from New England to settle 
in the Genesee country. 

An active correspondence commenced between James and his 
New England friends soon after their departure from Durham. 
In a letter to his brother, John N. Wadsworth, dated at Albany, he 
says : — " We have secured a boat and pilot, forage is pretty scarce, 
but our expenses do not exceed our expectations. We have now 
arrived where Genesee is much talked of, and all accounts confirm 
us in our choice. All hands are in good health and fine spirits ; lay 
aside all anxiety for us. We expect many difficulties but are fast 
in the belief that perseverance will surmount them. There hn^ 
arrived this day, two vessels from Rhode Island. One has 28 and 
the other 30 passengers, bound full speed for the Genesee country. 
The migrations to the westward are almost beyond belief. Gin's 
(the colored woman,) courage rather increases, as many of her 
'^olnv are froiufr to the Genesee."* A tender epistle to James, in no 



aiasculine han.I, diito.l at New Haven, imayines that at some Indian 
war dance, his scalp may be one of the trophies " that will daiurje 
Irom the belt of a Seneca brave. " She ad<ls, that " nothing short 
of niakinjr a fortune could induce you to reside amongst an uiicivill 
ized people, exposed to the savages of the wilderness. " Samuel 
Street, ot Chippewa, C. \V., writes a note from CanandaJcnia, on a 
small strip ot paper, asking Mr. Wadsworth to excuse it "as paper 
IS very scarce hei:e. " John 15. Van Epps writes from Schenectady 
that " leter and Gerritt Ryckman would not take up the four bar- 
rclsof rum to Canaudnigua. under 84 per barrel; and to be paid 
likewise tor riding the barrels over the carrying place. " 

As early as Seplember, 17U0, the progress ol' improvement was 
arrested : — William and all of his hired hands had the fever and 
ague, the wench Jenny being the only well one among them JJis- 
heartened by disease, the hired men returned to " Connecticut, 
where they were soon tbllowed by James, leaving William and 
the negro woman, to winter in the shantee and take care of 'the 

James Wadsworth started from Durham, in April 1791 • but was 
delayed in New York by the sprouting of the ague, the seeds of 
which had been sown the fall previous. He arrived however at 
"Big Tree " in June, and writes back to his uncle James thai' lie 

ox-cnn, outline out r„a,l. and nu,Vins. "a n tht^T " ^|" ,^::^ «;™ ,„ ti.o 
Hist tljat tiK. ex|,c.,l.tio„ ^va.s a w,Ll a,ul 1 >. i; un^a d^ f^^^ "'." 

would bo U.t t., ,,. back to '■ Old Durha,„ " aild ^'o 11 uj^a'a bad gb."'""' ^'"^ '' 

Revolution, ^v.. n u,on,borot ,l,e Co;,;!,'' ^ i ,^ ^ss", w^r";. ;"" '" "" 
nent iiu-n oj ^c■w E nn-land. Ir wn,;!.| set'o, tint •.IWtl ,! , I < , '. '"' '"■'""'" 
U.n, if not tbe ,uanl,.n, .ho kind u..n,:;.':;,:.t;: ^.i ^ ..'Z''^'':'"''' 

fi rhis incniorv is ilw natura iinind^o uium ih.. „ ..i V i • '"■ '" l"" ^V'-- lu-vurciico 

had d..part«l fi.r the Gcnos, ."S-v ^HislSw^/T '''u''^'", *'"'"" ='"'■'• ^'""^ 
ono. re .loto ^vith advi... and , ^.n 'ilv ^ ", ti h". H 7' ''''' ■"" '^ ^*""f 
instructions as to tlio dutirs and imrMiitso f i l * ', ' ''Uio is soninuml, and 

the nc,,] ;dl fhccurront noVs I /, • "j -f t "; ""k' I'"^^]^,,'" ■^"'■V' l'.^' ^^'^-.s 
pa,.ors or mails, (as thov roallv ^veIv ^ •!, I .'o?' -, , i ••"'"' *'"' ''''"''^' "' "^'"■''- 

yol, of the in,,H;Aancc .^^ " Ss" , d •" I ^ ^n t in I'n'u^ ^ '"'"' """'"'^ 

obsm-alion of the SaM.nli ; of jiwiicc i" ■ „ ;, , ' '' '"^'^ •^^.''tl'^"'^"' • "i '^ I-'opcr 

and of inviolably Hupponini^ J' - c ml ' V, j ^^ ^'^^l^i ^l"-'''^''!;, ^^.th the Ind.ans; 
Indians. WhatVver nisbamlrv ^4?mlVVt ,',/', ".'"' '?;"'"' "^''^''''"'""i? 
other letter, he strikes off npo, f vU „e v li^ Tl ^r:'!?; ^ • '^'' "^''"" '" '"" 
topics an,on!,M,urpolitician,sand ^Jml C^;;^,.]ilJTZT''' '" f''""'^'' ."'■'• l''« 
are nun.h .h,. order of .he dav tluTe^'lt u1 ^ ^^"".^^Inrd a^ If H "' "'^'^^"'^""'^i"". 
pn;pe,.ly appli., i„ ...e i,,siances. K.p.ll^s^v;^ tlil^iin'^'hc , 'i; ;;rj|;ir^;;^ ^^ 



foiuhl '•brother Bill well ; and by ])ersin'eriiig indiistiylic h:\s much 
iiiiprnvo<l the place, and given our settlciiieiit a very dilll'ieut and 
hiLrhly pleasing aspect. We have an excellent enclosed pasture 
within eight rods of our house, and please ourselves with the pros- 
pect of soon enjoying most of the conveniences of settlements of 
several years standing. We have tiie pn)S(»ect througiiout the 
country of ;i most extraordinary crop of wheat ; ours far exceeds 
our expectations, and corn promises 00 or 70 bushels to the acre. 
Our flats bespeak a great quantity of hay,(\vil(l grass.) Respecting 
the Indians, we are so far from dreading the Six Nations (our neigh- 
bors) that we consider them no inconsiderable security. Thev 
have given us the most satisfactory proof of their friendsliip. We 
shall not be troubled by the southern Indians. I am happy to say 
that on second view of the Genesee country, I am confirmed in my 
favorable opinion of it. We have received a great increase of in- 
habitants the winter past. Four barns were raised last week in 
Canandaigua, within a half mile distance. Ontario, from a dreaiy 
wildiM-ness begins to put on the appearance of a populated country. " 
In a letter to his uncle James, dated in August, same year, he 
says: — " The Indians have returned from the treaty(Pickering's at 
Newtown,) highly pleased. The inhabitants now do not even think 
of danger from the Six Nations ; although fears are entertained 
that the southern Indians will attack the Six Nations. " 

In 1791, Oliver Phelps, First Judge of Ontario county admits 
James Wadsworth to practice as attorney and counsellor " to enable 
persons to sue out writs and bring actions, which at the present, 
for want of attornies, it is impossible to do. " 

The Messrs. Wadsworths' from year to year, extended their far- 
ming operations, bringing the broad sweep of flats that they pos- 
sessed, under cultivation, and stocking it with cattle. There beincr 
no access to markets for wheat, they raised but little, but were early 
large producers of corn. Their cattle went to the Philadelphia 
and JJaltimore mru-kets principally ; some were sold to new settlers, 
and some driven to Fort Niagara and Canada. Independent of 
their cultivated fields, the uplands and flats in summer, and the 
rushes that grew in abundance upon the flats, in winter, enabled 
them to increase their cattle to any desired extent. The present 
town of Rush, upon its flats had extensive meadows of rushes, upon 
which tlieir cattle were herded for several of the early winters. 






1 1 ii 

I i 

II ! 

' I 



They at one period had an extensive dairy. Tiie cultivation of 
hemp engaged their attention in an early day, and along in 1800, 
and a few succi vding years, they were large cultivators of it, with 
others upon the river. They nuinufactured much of it into ropes, 
for which they found a market la Albany and New York. In com- 
mon with others in their neighborhood, they commenced the culti- 
vation of tobacco ; but that business fell pretty much into the hands 
of a company, who came on from Long Meadow, in Connecticut, 
rented flats of them, and cultivated for a few years largely. They 
cured it and put it \i\ for market alter the Virginia fashion. The 
breeding of mules fo. the Baltimore market, was a considerable 
business with them in early years. In later years they turned their 
attention to sheep, nnd prosecuted wool growing to an extent that 
hns never been exceeded in the United States. In some observa- 
tions of Professor Rcnwick, they are ranked with Gen. Wade Ilam})- 
ton, of S. Carolina, in reJerence to the magnitude of their opera- 
tions, at the "head of agricultural pursuits in the United States." 

While the inmiediate care of all this chiefly devolved upon Wil- 
ham Wads'.vorth, James iiarticipated in it by a general supervis- 
ion, the purchase and sale of stock in distant markets, the procuring 
ot improved breeds of cattle and sheep, and a scientific investiga*^ 
tion of all matters of practical improvement in agriculture. 

T^rom their first coming into the country, they were con,^ atly 
extending their farming operations, and adding to their possessions. 
In early years they were materially aided in all this, by the use of 
the capital of their friends in New England ; especially that of 
their relative. Col. .Teremiah Wadsworth; but their extensive and 
judiciously conducted farming, soon began to yield them large 
profits, winch added to the commissions that James realized upon 
various land agencies, in the aggregate, of vast magnitude, and of 
profits of purchase and sale of wild lands upon his own account 
enabled them to add farm to farm, and tract to tract, until they were 
ranked among the largest land holders in the United States; and 
m i-eference to present and prospective value of their possessions, 
pi-obably the largest. Certainly no others owned and managed so 
many cultivated acres. 

Ini « Y«al ^...:us ..pj.h. ,1 moHl of the «iuuil JcaW. ^s..i oi Luku, 

nlo pliiL's, .'Hid 




In February, 1790, James Wadsvvorth sailed lor Europe. He 
went upon his own account, upon tiiat of joint partners with him in 
land operations, and other km^e land holdeis in the United States. 
And here it is .not out of fjUice to remark, that land s})eculations had 
beconia rife very soon after the close of the Revolution. Large 
quantities of wild lands were tlu'own into market by the dili'erent 
States, pre-emption rights weie obtained. Indian cessions followed, 
and very soon most of the available capital and credit of the whole 
country was used in the i)urchase of lands. They rose rajjidly in 
value, fortunes were made, but as we have seen in later years, a 
crash followed, ruin and bankruptcy overtook, a large and prominent 
class of the operators. No matter how low they had purchasetl 
their lands ; if they were in debt for them, sale, settlement and nn- 
provement, would fall behind the pay days of purchase n)oney, and 
wide tracts of uncultivated wilderness was a poor resource for taking 
care of jn'otested bills, and threatened foreclosures. Speculators had 
over bought, even with the ([uantity of wild lands then marketable, 
and when other wide regions in the north-west territory were thrown 
into market, and brought into competition, embarrassments were en- 
hanced. In '95, '6, this untoward state of things had arrived at its 
culminating point ; an exigency existed which created the alterna- 
tives of ruin to nearly all who had ventured in large land specula- 
tions, and the enlisting of cai)ital in Europe. 

In such a crisis, a distinct realization of which, can only be liad 
by a general review of the history of that period, Mr. Wadsworth 
was selected as an agent to go to Eurojie, and make sales of lands to 
foreign capitalists. It was ce-rtainly no sniall compliment to the bus- 
siness reputation and character of one who had gone out in his youth 
and acquired his recommendations in the back woods, to be thus 
singled out from among the most prominent men in the United 
States, whose interest, with his own, he was to proinote. His visit 
l(.) Europe, was at the suggestion, and attended by the co-operation, 
of Uobert Morris, Thomas Morris, Governeur Morris, Aaron Burr, 
Charles Williamson, De Witt Clinton, Robert Troup, Oliver Phelps. 
Nicholson and Greenleaf, Col. Jeremiah Wadsworth, of Hartford, 
and other prominent men of New England and Pennsylvania. His 
mission was undertaken under adverse-circumstances : — What was 
understood in Eurojie to have been the highly successful ventures of 
the London'associutes, and the ilolland Company of Amslerdaui, in 


pni'irrs and ciouiiam'm pni:(!irAMT<:. 

IiiikI.; ill flii; i(Mri,,ti. Ii;i(| hail (Iin (>li;«ct. to sfiiimlafc ofluTs. and at 
firsi, lo cnvitc a, stioii;^ ilisiiositinn lor Aiiiciicaii land invcsdncnts. 
hund a-rciils liiid (locked lo iMiropc, and it is not at all stran-c tliat 
iinp(V'ili..ns had liccii piacliccd. and thai many liad lu-cn. (to ns<< :i 
in.'dcrn l<-nii,) viclinii/rd. Tlic reader need only Ik! told, (liat !i 
system of .<|.(-raiions had been carried on, not nnlik<' tlui inappinj^ 
•'>iid |il:illiii;r upon papiM-, uliicli prevailed in lN;t({, '7. Mr. 
woith iv.aclie.l l':urop(« .at ;i p,>riod of ivaetioii, and yet. with llii> 
f<vstimonials he rariied with him, addinl to the conlidenoe he inspired 
hy his di.niiiy of d,>p()rtment .and nianil'est in(ei.rrity of purpose, hy 
!i slow process, his mission was m.ainly siiccrssliil. II(. visited, .anil 
resided t(«mporaily in London, I'aris and An.sterdam. His Idlers of 
iiilrodiiction.comiii.-; fromhie;!! soiirci-s in this country, ,i;ave him no- 
r(>ss to the society of prominent men ol'thal period, .and inci- 
dentally to that ol'some (Miiinent statesmen and scholars. Favored ;it 
<Mic.' I.y the eountenanee .and hiendship of Sir Wm. l»ulten(>y and 
AFr. folipdioun. and in Amsterdiim, with that of the memhers of the 
IloI!,and (\)mpany, aiiK.n.^ whom was on(> (<ininent statesman, and 
several who ornipied a hi<di iiosition .as bankers, the youDir liack- 
woodsman. from then youn.r America, w^as (Miahled t.) plaee him- 
solf u|>,m a iavorahle lootinjr. not only with reCeivnce to the immo- 
diate ohiects of his mission, hut with nd'erenee to those advanin'^-es 
iHM'iMvd ( y foiviim (rav.d and r.>sidence. I Je remained abroad until 
the last of \ovember. 17!)S. In all this time, he elllvted a larw 
muonnt of sales, and to this mission is to be attributed many of the 
iorei-n proprietorships in this re-ion. as well as in oth(<r portions of 
the Tnited States. Some brief extracts from his corrospon.lence 
whil,« abroad. po,ss.>ss not only local, but i^eueral hist.irioni inter- 
est, imd are contained in a note .•utached. While in London 
Air. Wadsworth obtained a commission agency from Sir William 
rnlteney, for tho sale o[' lands ujion the I\rill Tract west of 
tienesee H Ivor, ombraciiur what is now (Vdcn, Parma, Ki^,!, {1,i|i 
;ind a part of (Greece and Wheatland, from William Sixr.."f Am- 
sterdam, for the sale o( the township, now Ucnnetla, and from 
tethers, the agency for the sale of other tracts. And a.Med fall 
this, was the ns^ency for the s.ale o( lands in the Cene.see country 
belonpni^to.lerciniah Wadsworth and. other New England land*- 
holders. The duties thus as.sumed. loszether with the general man- 
au'onient o( what then, constituted. t!ie Wadsworth estate, of farms 



rind wild Innds, throw niton his hmids an arnonnt dI' I)usin('ss seldom 
dcvnlvitif^ upon one individual, aiid rc(iuirin'^r nil his tirno and cner- 
<j;i('s. Ho must Ix^ rctrardod as the patroon of now scttlotnents in 
his own nci^hl)orli(M»d, iti a largo portion <)\' llio present county of 
Monroe, atid in several other localities. His European a'^encies 
wore upon terms that ;!;uve him an interest in the sale and settlement 
of wild lands, in soino instances more than i'.(\\v,i\ to that of the jiro- 
prietors, and he was indefati_a;aJ)Ie in promotiiiy; sales. The fine re- 
f^ionscominj^ under hissu[)ervision, uid)roken by sales or settlement, 
prineipally west of the (Jenesoc; river; were put in m;irket, and 
(.'oinir to New I'iiiLdand, he [trosecuted ti[)on a. lar^c^ scialc, a system 
that Mr. I'helps had he.i!;an, of exchanivinir wild lands for farms, " 
whcM th(! occupants would Ixicome residents. lie thus secured a 
jfood class of now settlers, and no where in the whole historv of new 
settlements in thiscotmtr}', have they been more prosperous, abating 
such dr;iwl)acks as were beyond his control, than those were of 
which h(^ may be regarded thi> founder. And while he was thus 
the. instrument, eventually, to promote the prosi)erity of others, he 
was laying the foundation, or accumulating, the. largo estate which 
his family now ]>ossess. The profits oi his agencies were large 
ones, and wore invested in wild lands and farms. These beiiK^ 


g niM-ally retained and well managed, the in value chielly helped 

NdTK. — l''r(im lidiiihm, .hiiic, '!M;. ,F. W. writcw to OIiiirloM Wilkes,* lli:it lio wns 
Ujioii ilii' iHiinI 111' ('IJ'rcliii;,' l:irLCc siilcH oi hiiid, "luit all had hccii IViislralcrl l>v oppo- 
Hilidi'. in llic II. (it Kvp, 1.1 Jay's Ircaly." "'I'lii' t'car of sciiucslralinii and ii.iill«cati(iii 
lias (ir.sMoycd .all cdnlidcnrd willi cap'ilalislH in Kni^larKl. lii'sidcs tlicy l'c;:r llic cllert 
(if iMvni'h inlluciu'c in llic riiilcd yialcs." " Mr. Vdniit,^ ji lai;;c Kasl India cap- 
ilalist, l<i whoni I was froin:,' to s<'ll Itd.OOl) acres <if land at liait' a f;iiin( a per acre, 
backs (lilt in c(inKci|iience of news iVimi America." J. W. (o 'I'lidiiias .Mdnis, .May' 
'HO, sjiys; — " I am prevetiled from Tnalcin;; sales liy (lie |irdceedinL''K df II. of Kepre- 
penlatives." J. W. lo Oiarlcs Wilkes, ■linu'. '!t(i : — '"I'liiiitrs are lookiiii,' lictler ; neWH 
lias l.een received llial ('on^re.-is liave passed llie necessary laws to carrv llie Irealy into 
eiVecl ; contidence in American inve.stmcnls are reviving'." J. W. to Henj. West, (llio 
celelirated p.'Mnter.) — " lie kiml enonirli to use yo'ir inlliience in i|nieliiii..; alarm and 
L'etliiur lip Cdnliilence in London. I liave no diiiilil llial tin; L'niled Slates will lie as 
liappy, and their irdvernment as pcrniaTienl, as is ailowalile to men, anil human insli- 
luliniisinthe world." A cdrn-pdndenco lietween .Mr. Wadswiirth and Aanm linrr 
was ki'iit lip dnrim'; the absence of the fdrnier; the Icller.sof Mr. liinr, would some- 
limn.- lie upon mailer,'* df, Sdmetimes n|idn iiolilics, which suhject Wdidd snd- 
Jenly he arrested hy his faviirile theme, yossip upon conrtship and niarriai;e. Some 
pdrlioHH of his letters are dhscnred liy the use df his ci])hers. A. 1>. to .1. W., Xov. 
17!li; : — "1 refer yon to the !,'a/.ettes fo'r the name of the electors, and the parti'culara 
Vi'l known respectiii!.;' the elfdion ; .1 I think will he 15; 1, ha.s, I think Ud chance ; 
1') and I will run ^'cnerally to!,'ether, 4mt the latter will not succeed liy rea.son of 
bomr .iisaU'ection in M ; — Hi, U), Wl been at home, i;{ would have lieen" the man iiH 

* .\.i rmineiit early inerchant of New York ; a namesake and family cdiinevion of 
Charii.- W dkos, of Londiui. 



rnELPs AXD goriiam's purchase. 

to make the lagest estate, perhaps, that has ever heen accimiulateii 
in the United States, by the same process. 

But lul no one, while viewing tlie broad domains of which he 
died possessed, suppose tiiat they came to hiia in the absence of in- 
dustry, economy, good management, or of long vears of severe 
trial and embarrassments. Dependent, chidly, in' his early enter- 
prises, upon the capital of others, he carried along through an ex- 
tended period of depre.-sion, a slow growth of the country, a war that 
bore heavily upon this local region — a large debt, and all the trials 
and vexations which it carrits in its train.* It was not until the 
war of 1812 made a good market for his produce, that lie began to 
•be relieved from embarrassment ; his large clip of wool, his cattle, 
grain, and the produce from his duiiy, enabled him to rapidly di- 
minish his indebtedness ; then followed a few years of depression ; 
then came that great measure of deliverance, and source of pros- 
perity to all this region, the Erie Canal ; and participating largely, as 
his possessions enabled him to do, in the rapid advance in the value 
of real estate, in the facilities for market that it at once atlbrded 
freedom from debt, unincumbered wealth that was soon rated "by 
milHons, was the reward of his early wilderness advent, and over 
half a century of industry and enterprise. 

In a history of pioneer settlement, such as this is intended to be, 
one who bore so conspicuous a part in it, must necessarily occupy 
a considerable space, and yet one entirely inadeciuate to the task of 
detailing his immediate and intimate connection with the 'growth 

7011 will JO c.,nvino,..,l ^v uMi y„>, shall roturn hcmo. Tpon il,o wlu.lo I am quite sat- 
ishcH>.,t t hm.^s." "Kxcpt the lilllo h.i- ahvadv a.-kn-n lo"' I an 1 
vluch appeai-od „ have bL..ii sent by ,ny bo.,ksellei-8, pr„bably under v.,ur onl ts I 
have m,t receive.l a .,nok or a pan.phh.t iVun, you sin,'e your >esi,|,.nee „broa,l." ' 1 
h,ne t horn the very best authority that your triend Liuklaen i.s soon to In. luarried 
o a .lau,,']> er ol Major L.. yard, a prclly and ^dii Not a ba.l , ateh I 

S^hu s A ; 't W ■•; P'v^^'iit u.d.^putably at llie head of n,y list. Under otir. 
u dates A. B to J. A\ . --"J uive beeiMjiule a rerluse and a fanner this summer; 
lw\e not .een two miles troni home smee my r.^linn Inmi I'hilndelphia; am !,ot iiiar- 
ned nor have made any approaches to it, though .shall not probahlv y.s, another shx 
l.H , hs sinn.le. though no partu.dar objee, has y<.t engnged 'mv attwuion. Cnd ble s 
nnd piosper you ' t is hoped by some, feined by others, .■in'd b,.lieved bv all, tliat 

he ] resident will deelme being a .■andidate at the next eh-etiou. Tiie ea.ididatc.s will 
be burw-k, -1 i, .1 and I. Ihe seems pretty doubttul. I have been told (this 
d.iy,) and ully behove it, that ^'D .-uul 21 « ere i-ublielv married a lew daysa-o. Adieu 
oiK'o more," » .. Jo- j»>"iu 

_* In a letter to a friend after he liad had an experieiue of fifteen vears hesjivs'— 
It IS slow realizing from new hinds. J will never advise iinotlier friend 'to invest in 
tlK'in, .Men genoridly h.avt! not the i-e.iuisitepatieiK'c for siiecuiaang in tliein "' 



and prosperity of this region. His biography alone, if it followed 
him in all his relations to our local region, would be almost its early 
history. To say that his was a useful life, would be but a natural 
deduction from his early advent, and his leading participation in 
laying the foundation of that unexampled prosperity, which now 
exists in a region that he entered, the wheels of his cart, and shoes 
of his horse, making the first impress of civilization upon its soil ! 
The abatement, if any, from his life of usefulness, would be the 
amount of territory he encompassed, and held on to with a tenacity, 
almost amounting to dotage, or an inordinate desire to possess ex- 
tended fields and forests. This ambition was first excited when a 
young adventurer, on his way to IMontreal, in company with John 
Jacob Astor, to seek employment as a school teacher, he saw an 
extensive and beautiful estate, in one of the valleys of Vermont ; 
and traveling in Europe, a few years afterwards, making a sojourn, 
occasionally, at the hospitable seats of immense land proprietors, he 
seems to have been confirmed in his desire for a similar position, 
and to have steadily pursued his object in after life. Great landed 
estates in a country like ours, are a sore evil ; the effects, in various 
ways, bearing heavily and vexatiously upon their immediate 
neigliborhoods. It is no " vote yourself a fiu'm" spirit, no sympathy 
in common with agrarianism, that dictates the exjiression of a hope, 
that b)' all legal means, the evil may be abated. It would have 
been far better for the beautiful valley, where Mr. Wads worth cast 
his lot in early life, and with which he became so intimately blen- 
ded, if his ambition for large possessions had been more moderate; 
but, " may I not do as I will with mine own? '" is an interrogation 
he might well have opposed to those who cavilled at his monopol}- 
of the soil.* 

* And this rcniiiiils II11' aiilhur (if an aiu'Cildtu of iiii carlv and vi'iioratt'd coteinpora- 
ry of Ml'. Wadswoith, the late Ani,'ustuH I'orter. Tiie ])(isst'ssiou in liis family of " Goat 
Island." and all the most dcsii'atik' t;-rounds 011 tho Anicricau side, at Nia^'ara Falls, 
and the tcnarity with which tlioy were held, when iniiJi-ovcmcuts were s(Uii!:ht to 
he made, had oeeasioned nn I'li of mnrmmint; and faidt findini;;, in which the au- 
thor, as the editor of a iiajier in tjiesanie eonnly, had ]iailu'i]iated, oeeasionally !,'ivin,i» 
pome tln-nstsat what nsed to lie called the " nionopuly." While enn-a!i;ed in a |ireccding 
l.isitirieal worli, tlie old f,'eiitlenian had kindlv i,d\en liini tlu^ henelit of days and 
niu'lits of ounversatiou n])on Iheeaily iiistory ol' all this retjion ; his peisoiial narrative, 
that lii'^ini with Ids early adventures in the wilderuet^s, his early years spent in survey- 
or's canijis, eneounterini;' hardships and ])rivations; his at'ter Ions years of toil. At 
the close of tliis intc^rview. sulVerinir under I'oddy inthnntics. partly consequent ujion 
nil this, ho observed : — "Isow you have luy w'hule history ; you have seeu liow I 





At an early. period — almost as soon as the farming operations of 
the Wadsv^orths were fairly commenced —James Wadsworth crave 
much of his attention to agricultural improvements. He may be said 
to have given the impetus, in this state, to the application of science, 
the heeding of the simple teaching of nature, the elt/ntion of rural 
labor from mere uninslructed handicraft, to the position and the di^r. 
nity It has been rapidly assuming. He had cotemporaries, co-opera- 
tors — there were perhaps those before him in the state, who had 
labored m the same field - hut he had entered upon the work with 
an earnestness, with practical views, and aided with his pen and 
his purse, effectual measures, that helped to mark a new era in 
agricultural improvements. Practical in his views upon all sub- 
jects, his theories and recommendations occupied the mi.ldle crround 
betvveen a judicious and healthy reform in the cultivation "of the 
earth, and stock breeding, and the extravagancies of mere theorists. 
1 he practicability and the usefulness of a thing with him were always 
allied. Had he been in the place of Mr. Jefferson, his spirit of enter- 
prise may have dictated the erection of a saw mill upon an eminence, 
to be propelled by wind, but before he had ventured upon the ex- 
periment, he would have seen how his saw logs were to be got up 
the steep ascent. 

His, was a mind too active to repose upon the possession of 
wealth, or fall into supineness and inactivity, when the stimulus of 
gain had in a measure subsided. It reached out after new objects, 
when old ones were accomplished. Education, — educat ' .n of the 
masses, alHed to political economy, in all its later years, became 
with him, if not a hobby, an object of intense interest. He was not 
unmindful of the higher interests of religion, but even those he would 
have made secondary in the economy of life, believing that educa- 
tion of the mind was the broad superstructure upon which all of 
spiritual as well as temporal good should be based. As the possessor 
of property, he urged upon the wealthy of the state, by stron.- r,p. 
peals, that it had no security short of the education of the masre- , 
out of which alone wou'd grow a respect for the laws, aii<I vested 
rights. He was the patron of J. Orville Taylor, in his first move- 
ments ; had essays upon education, upon political economy, tracts, 



tmnly no c.mvc.,.ic.nt ^vay of ineotrng tlie rebuke, or answering the interrroiat" ly 





printed and distributed through the state, at his own expense ; en- 
listed newspapers in tl\e cause of education, by paying tlieni for 
setting apart a space for its discus^-ion; aided i-n the estabhshment 
of the District School Journal, and paid salaries to public lecturers, 
to go through the State, and arouse public attention to its impor- 
tance. If the system of District School Libraries did not originate 
with him, (as there are some reasons to suppose it did,) it had the 
benefit of his early and efficient aid. In tne way of agricultural 
improvement, he had essays printed and distributed, and was an 
early and efficient patron of Judge Buel, in the starting of the 
Cultivator, at Albany 

A love of order, system and regularity, was one of his leading 
characteristics. This is strikingly exhibited in his correspond- 
ence, and the careful manner in which it was preserved ; and 
equally so in the written instructions to his agents. His office 
clerks he reminded of the maxim : — "Every thing in its place, and 
a place fur every thing ;" and they were forbidden to hold any con- 
versations with those who came to tlie office to do business, on 
the subject of party politics, but instructed to interest themselves, 
and hold conversations "in reference to schools, and the means of 
their improvement." His out-door clerk, or farm agent, was in- 
structed to " frequently visit every farm, make suggestions to ten- 
ants ; see how they manage alfairs, see that every farm has growing 
upon it good and wholesome fruit ;.look to the compost heaps and 
manure ; see that the premises are made conducive to health." All 
short comings, negligencies, and slovenly, or bad management, you 
are to report to the office. Your inquiries should be : — " Are the 
gates in good order ? Is the wood-pile where it ought to be ? Are the 
grounds around the house kept in a neat and wholesome manner ? 
Are the sheds, and yard fence around the barn in a good state of re- 
pair ? The land agent should make suggestions to the tenants on 
the leading principles of good husbandry, with frequent reference 

Note. — Tn a letter to Mr. Traup, nl'tcr lie had succoedod to the PulU'iuiy nguiicy, in 
180,"), Mr. Wiulswin'tli iirj^'cs tlio suttinji; apart of laud in eacli township " for a school 
house, meeting: hovu-^e, gleljo, and pai-sonaj."'." He acidic : — " 1 am not sujurslifioiLs, but 
I believe in Christianity; lain no partwni, lint 1 lielieve in the piety iif patriot- 
is:-i ; and amidst the atHu'tionsof this wayuard -worhl, it ajipears lo niethat thesweot- 
est ('(insolations that attend advanced life, is a recollection of snb.staulial lieneiits con- 
ferred npon our country of haviiiL; contributed our fidl ndte t(j theimpiovement and 
happiness (if our felk'W men : especially t" llmt port-'H of them whose di slinics, 'ire in- 
lluenced more or luHS by our decisions, and by iLubiluaUonn, 'whicli, uudui Froviduucc, 
w6are jilaccd." 



: .» 

to sound mornls, founded on the sanction of religion and just 
reasoning; and also the unappreciable importance of the edu- 
cation of youth; and of a vigilant attention to the state of com- 
mon schools in the lessees' district. Shade trees must bo about 
each house. From a look or two about the garden or house, you 
can easily ascertain if the occupant drinks bitters in the morning 
or whiskey with his dinner. If he drinks bitters, vou will find his 
garden full of weeds." 

To a natural love of rural scenery, skirted and dotted with forests 
and shade trees,had been added observation in European travel where 
time ha<l enhanced their beauty and value. In England, in fact, 
he had learned to love trees, and appreciate the importance of their 
preservation ; and in nothing has he so distinctly left traces of him- 
self, as in the beautiful woodland scenery and magnificent lV,rest 
trees, so much admired, in the immediate valley of the Genesee 
With the same forecast that enabled him to estimate the prospec- 
tive value of lands, he saw far ahead what this whole region is no^y 
beginning to realize, the evil of destroying the native forests, with- 
out planting and rearing trees for future practical uses, as well as 

The personal character of Mr. Wadsworth may mostlv be infer- 
red from tliis imperfect sketch of him, as the Pioneer and founder 
of settlements. yVlmost his entire history is blended with this local 
region — its early settlement and progress; though he took a deep 
interest in public affairs, it was in the retirement of private life, 
from which he would seem to have never had a disposition to be' 
drawn by any allurements of official stations. His private corres- 
pondence, the ability with which ho discussed various subjects of 
political economy, scientific agriculture and education, evince a 
clear, sound judgment, strengthened by judicious, practical read- 
ing; mdeed, his library, like all the appointments of his farms his 
stock, his dwelling, and his garden, is chosen with a strict regard to 
utility. " He was," (says a surviving cotemporary, * ) « a good jud-^e 
ot men — .seldom erred in his estimation of them — and reiving up- 
on his judgment, was even arbitrary in the withholding ancfbcstow- 
al of confidence. He had not the elements of popularity ; or if he 
had, did not choose to make them available ; usually absorbed in 
the cares of business, or some favorite study, he was reserved in his 





deportment, and liable to be ro,a;nrded as austere and unsocial ; but 
relaxing, as he sometimes would — freeing his mind from its bur- 
dens, he would exercise fine conversational powers, not unmixed 
with humor, wit and gaiety." 

William Wadsworth, as has already been indicated, was the prac- 
tical farmer, and has little of history disconnected with the imme- 
diate supervision of large farming operations, and his early and 
prominent position in the local military organization. At the battle 
of Queenston, after the wounding of Gen. Solomon Van Rensselcar, 
the immediate command devolved upon iiim, and he acquitted him- 
self with honor, and won even something of laurels, upon a badly 
selected and generally unfortunate battle field, where they were 
scarce, and hard to acquire.* He was a bachelor, and a bachelor's 
history has always an abrupt termination. lie died in 18r}3, aged 
71 years. His property which had been mostly held in common 
with his brother James, was willed to his children; thus leaving the 
large estate unbroken. 

James Wad"worth died at his residence in Geneseo, in June, 
1844, aged 70 years ; leaving two sons and two daughters. His 
eldest daughter, was the wife of Martin Brimmer, of Boston, at 
one period the Mayor of that city; she died in 1834. His second 
daughter, Elizabeth, was married in January, of the present yeai', 
in Scotland, to Charles Augustus Murray, second son of the late 
Earl of Dunmore, and a nephew of the Duke of Hamilton ; and 
now resides at Cairo, in Egypt, where her husband is the diplomatic 
representative of the British Government.f His son, William 

* M:iiisSc;l(l, oiiuof tlio hio^rriiphors of Gen. Scott, says that when lie had crossed 
the Xi;i[,'arn, at tlio l)attlo of (^iicciistnii, and arrivod iipfm the Tlri^lits, he prupnseil 
to (ieii. Wadsworth, ins^teadof tLssumiiig tlie chief coiiiinaiid to Hiiiit it to tlie lemilur 
force; to which the brave and patriotic Wadsworlii replied: — " Xo, you know best 
jirofessionally what oiiglit to be dr)no ; I am liere for tb.e honor of my country, and the 
New Yorlv nulitia." And the l)ioi,'ra])lier adds : — " Scott assumed the command, and 
Wadsworth throuirhout (lie movements that ensued, ilared every danger in .seeondini;' 
his views. Though they liad met for the tirst time, ho had become attaclied to the 
youn<j; C(donel, re])eate(lly durini^ tlui Ijattle, interposini!; his own person to shield 
Scott from till' Indian riMes, which his tall foiTU attracted." This statement, illus- 
trating llio modesty of his courage, is confirmed by General Scott. 

tHe is the grand son of Loril Dunmore, the governor of the cohmy of Virginia on 
the breaking out of the Kovolution, In If^'.il, he visited t}m cotnitry, u]!on a torn- 
undertaken with the two fehl objects of liusiness and jileasure. Upon investigation 
he ascertained tliat by some defect or omission in tlie N'irginia acts of contiscation, 
he could recover a largo tract of land that had behinged to liis grand-father, but he 
declined consummating the recovery upon learning that the land was nearly valueless. 
Striking off into tlie western States, lie orgnnixed at St. Louis a eor]>3 of ulh eiiturers, 
and with them visited one of the far westeni Indian nations — the Pawnees — spend- 
ing the inoBtof tt summer with them, joining them in their rural sport ■j, atvl i',ccf>';;- 




Wadswortli, who marriorl the daughter of Auntin, of Boston, 

resides at the old (annW mansion in Geneseo. His son. James S. 
Wadswnrtii, who married tin: daughter of John Wharton, of Piiiladel- 
phia, IS the occupant of a fine mansion he has erected in a MV)ve 
a short distai^ce north of t.he village of Geneseo, upon a blua'lhat 
overlooks a broad sweep of the valley of the Genesee. Upon him. 
in consequence of the abscence of the surviving sister, and the in- 
firmities^ of his brother, flevolves the entire management of the 
Wadsvvorth estate ; a difficult task, with all its diversified interest 
Us numerous farms, and tracts of wihl lands ; but one that is well 
performed, not only in reference to the estate itself, but with refer- 
ence to the public interest in which so large landed possessions are 
necessarily merged. The representative of the early Pioneers — 
his father and uncle - " to the manor born" - while he knows little 
of the hanlships, self-denial, the long years of trial and anxiety 
which attended the accumulation of tiie immense wealth he controls, 
he entertains liberal and enlightened views in reference to its iu;in' 
agement and disposition ; is not unmindful, as his frequent acts of 
punhc munificence bear witness, of the local interests and prosper- 
ity of his native valley of the Genesee. While in many portions 
of our country, the evil attending the accumulation of great estates 
is much enhanced by the narrow and sordid views of those into 
whose hands they fall; in this, as well as in other instances, in our 
own prosperous region, it has been mitigated. It was something 
more than the mere possession of wealth — something of the more 
legitimate claims to poi)uIar esteem — that during the last winter 
created that intense anxiety in the local public mind, when the 
worst ieai-s were entertained in reference to the iate of the packet 
ship, in which the subject of this incidental notice, had taken pas- 
sage on iiis return voyage fi'om Europe. 

pa . n- tu>,u,n their huftilo huuU He is the .author of a hook of " Travels in North 

Amvna," an.l of he j.onulur talc of fnet an<l tii-tioii - of wikl adventure an,l ro,„an- 

jc nu.,, en,s_ entnleJ tL " I'rairie Und ;" ^vhieh the author is int/.rmeii iVo!,!. of 

a q 1,0 lan.eof 1 he tanuly ,lur,ni,^ h,.s residence in Europe, and the youu^-er nuMuher 

It ^lou^d,t a le.terof introduction to Idn, when he came out tothi/countrv in ]rM; 

thenu. the aoiiuaintance; the se<iuel, after a hu.-r, consequent upon tllo n.„ ,ied 

lucstiwn ot country and residence, lias been f},e transfer of one of tlie Jauyhtei's „i' the 

f^v oiT", !i." k 7 H '^ ni I'lr'-V, *^ ^^'^ '-■""'■^ '""' ^''" dil'l^"'=^tic circle of one of the 
liu oil capilols ot the Old A\ orld. 

,^''.7?:- — •''""'•« ^Va.lswortli in his life time, founded a Iit,rarv in Gencseo, erectincr 
a buiUhn,!^ ior the puri.ose, and for its support deedinir to its Tnistees two fr".,. ami 
faome vuhige i^roiierty. Ue made it free to every citiijeii of Livingston coiiuty. 1 1 has 




In the primitive division of Ontario into Districts, the second 
district, Geneseo, embraced all west of the east line of the present 
towns of Pittsford, Mendon, Richmond. The first town meeting 
for the " District of Geneseo, " was held at Canawajrus, April 9, 
1791. John Ganson was chosen Sup. David Bullen, T.C. Other 
town officers : Gad Wadsworth, Nathan Perry, Amos Hall, Israel 
Stone, Edward Carney, Hill Carney, Jno. Ball, Isaiah Thompson, 
Benj. Gardner, John Lusk, Jasper Marvin, Norris Humphrey. 

It will be observed that these officers were distributed throughout 
the entire settled region west of the line named above. It used to be 
alledged that a little feeling of aristocracy had thus early crept into 
the backwoods, and manifested itself in the choice of supervisor — 
shoes, moccasins, and bare feet, were the order of the day, but '• Capl 
Ganson, " glorying in tho possession of a pair of boots, the choice 
fell upon him. 

The town meeting in 1793, was held at "Miles Gore," Lima ; 
Amos Hall was elected Supervisor. Thrs year, most of all the 
early roads in Livingston, east part of Monroe, and west part of 
Ontario, were laid out and recorded. Store and tavern licenses 
were granted to Gilbert R. Berry, Wm. Wadsworth, Simon Stone, 
Elijah Flowers, Pierce and Ransom, John Johnson, Donald JMc- 
Donald, Elijah Starr, Abel Willey, Peter Simms, Nathaniel 
Fowler, James Rogers, Wm. Hencher, Abner Migells. Nathaniel 
Perry, Christopher Dugan. 

At that early period, when stock of all kinds ran in the woods, 
ear marks were appended. It is presumed that nearly all of the in- 
habitant.s had their peculiar marks recorded. In many of the old 
town books, the picture of a hog or a sheep's ear, is drawn, with 
each man's mark delienated opposite his name. In 179G, there 
were upon the town books of the district of Geneseo, the following 
names of those who had chosen ear marks, in all the wide region 
west of East Bloomfield to the western boundaries of the State. 
There is no other form in which so many Pioneer names are re- 
corded : — 

mm- about 2,1500 Toluincs, and a yearly income of about $G0O. In his will, lie constitu- 
ted Ills iininrdiiite heirs its trustees. Its maiiagcniont devolves ujwn James S. Wads- 
worth, under which it iscarryinj^ oui the designs of its founder, and promises to become 
oneof Ihc lar<iest Libraries in the State. He gave $10,000 the income of whicli is to be 
en!i>l(!yed hi the education of .any iiulii^cnt vcl.'ilive. He. also g.nve *! 0.000, tliein- 
coiiie of which is to be devoted to the benefit of the commou schools of the State. 



1 ! 



Benjamin Gurdner, 
IViiz (tiirdiier, 
J. I'. ScaiH, 
Clark Peek, 
Jas|)cr -Marvin, 
Jiifiii Alifcr 
Jolm Gardner, 
Jcihii Elinor, 
yiiliiinon Hovey, 
Anius Hall, 
As,i linker, 
Saiiniol iiarkur, 
Paul Davisdii, 
Saniut'l |{aki'r,jr., 
lOliJah Mori;an, 
'i'licpiiias Peck, 
Sylvi sior ilarviii, 
Nathaiiicil Fowler, 
Win. Harris 
Kbcrii'zcr Mcitv, 
Jariil) W'riL^lit, " 
Al)raliani VVrii,dit, 
S. C. linu'kway, \V;uh', 

StL'i)li('ii 'rui'kor, 
Amariali JJittts, 
Jos. Wright, 
John Park^, 
-lohn Gansoii, 
David 9(" villi mr, 
Alexander Forsyth, 
•Icihii Beach, 
Reuben Thayer, 
Nuthauiel ifun;'er. 

Henry Redding, 
Josejih Sniiili, 
Adiia lleai'ook, 
Marvin (iatos, 
Danifl (!ate«, 
Phineas Hates, 
Awdiei Jiiirchell, 
Klicnezer Sprague, 
Simon Titl'any, 
Ezra Burchull, 
Seth Lewis, 
Alexander Ewing, 
Gad W'adsworth, 
Wni. Markhani, 
Ehenezer Alerry, 
Wni. VVad^worih, 
Jed. Cuniniinf,'s, 
Benjamin Thompson, 
Lonn Wait, 
'I'liomas Lee, 
lliehard Wait, 
Wni. Moore, 
John Barnes, 
Daviil Davis, 
Samuel Goodrich, 
Gershoni lieacb, 
Daniel Fox, 
Aaron Lyon, 
"William Layton, 
Hoiekiah Fox, 
Joseph Baker, 
Zebailon Moses, 
Asahel Warner, 

Tim. Ilosmor, 
John ItlioiU-H, 
David Bailev, 
Thomas Rlii,'ells 
Theo. She|)herd, 
Ransom Smith, 
Philip Simms, 
David Markhani, 
Reuben Heath, 
Daidel Wright, 
J'.s. Arthur, 
P. and J. Sheffor, 
Jo.s. Morgan, 
Enos Hai-t, 
Abel Wil.sey, 
John Morgan, 
Asa B. Simmons, 
David B. Jlorgan, 
Samuel Bullen, 
Samuel Stevens, 
Ge(jigo (iardner, 
Joseph >rorton, 
Jesse Pangburn, 
Joel Har\ey, 
David Benton, 
Jeremiah Olmsted, 
Joshua Whitney, 
David Pierson, 
Justus Minard, 
Jon.athan (lonld, 
Abiol (iardner, 
Ezekiel Chamlierlin, 
Benjamin Parsons, 

The location of the Wadsworths at Geneseo.made that point the 
nucleus of a considerable neighborhood, though for many years, 
there was but a small cluster of buildings. The business of the 
new settlements was divided between Geneseo, " Old Leicester," 
and Williamsburg. The Wadsworths resided in their primitive W 
house until 1794, when they built a large block house on the site of 
the old Wadsworth mansion. About 1804, they had erected the 
upright part of the present building, a large square roofed house 
that made an imposing appearance in a region of log houses, where 
a framed house of any size was a rarity. The early clerk of 
James Wadsworth, after he had opened his land office, was Samuel 
B. Walley, an Englishman, the father of Mrs. Dudley Marvin ; lie 
was succeeded by Andrew McNabb, who went into the Bath land 
office ; Joseph W. Lawrence was first blacksmith in Geneseo. He 
removed to Michigan, where he died in 1845. Among the promi- 
nent early settlers, were : — Lemuel B. Jenning.s, Benjamin Squire, 
Wm. Crossett, Rodman Clark, Wm. Findlay, David Findiav. As 



oarly as IFOl. Mv. Wadsworth visited Mnrlhorough. Connecticut, 
and exoiumtrc'd hnds I'or Ihrms, thus inducint,' several families to 
remove, who settled on the road leading to Conesus, among whom 
was David Kneeland ; their location was early called " IMarlhoroufrh 

The early merchants atGeneseo were Minor & Hall. In 1805, 
one of the firm, Hall, died at Oneida Castle, on his way to New 
York to purchase goorls. 

The prominent early merchant of Geneseo was the late Major 
Wm. n. Spencer. He was from East Haddam, Conn. Arriving 
upon the Genesee River in 1803, with his axe upon his shoulder, he 
was a Pioneer of " Fairfield " now Ogden ; breaking into the wilder- 
ness on Rush creek, about a mile east of Spencer's Basin, he built 
a cabin, kept bachelor's hall, bought provisions of Mr. Shaefler, 
carrying most of them in on his back ; built a saw mill, and in a little 
over a year cleared fifty acres. Getting ready for his saw mill irons, 
he went to Connecticut, and brought them all the way from there 
with an ox-team. In 1804 he struck the first blow in Rin-a, makinc 
an opening, and erecting a house for Mr. Wadsworth, a mile and a 
half southeast of Churchville. 

In 1805 he was induced by Mr. Wadsworth to take an interest 
with him in a mercantile establishment in Geneseo. Starting with 
a large stock of goods for that period, his business extended as set- 
tlement advanced, and there were many early years that his trade 
embraced a wide region. His goods came by the water route from 
Schenectady to the foot of Cayuga Lake, and from thence on wheels 
to Geneseo; the transportation usually costing about 83,00 per cwt. 
Doing principally a barter trade, his furs, tobacco, hemp, grain, pork, 
and maple sugar, were in the earliest years marketed at Baltimore ; 
by wagoning to Arkport on the Canisteo, and from thence by water. 
The first produce shipped at Arkport, was from Dansville ; the sec- 
ond shipments were by Spencer & Co., from Geneseo. This was 
the avenue to market for all the southern portion of Phelps and Gor- 
ham's Purchase, until the Jefferson embargo ; then it changed to 
Lake Onfar- •, by wagon roads to the mouth of Genesee River, 
until bateaux wei j introduced upon the river. These ran from the 
rapids above Rochester, as higb up as Geneseo ; and Durham boats 
used to ascend to Mount Morris. In the war of 1812 INIaj. Spencer 
was the aid of Gen. Wadsworth. Many year's since he retired 



from the mercantile business to his extensive farm of flats and up- 
land, on the river opposite Geneseo. lie was the owner of the 
beautiful sweep of flats, field after field, along on either side of the 
road from Geneseo to PifFardinia ; and had become one of the largest 
grazers, wool and wheat growers in the valley of the Genesee. He 
died suddenly, of ajjpoplexy, in January of this year, while engaged 
in the active management of the large estate that had been gai'ned 
by early Pioneer enterprise, industry and perseverance. 

In 1805 Geneseo had but about a dozen dwellings, there were 
two public houses, one kept by Faulkner, and the other by Bishop ; 
John Pierce had started the hatting business. Seymour Welcon 
was a tavern keeper there as early as 1809 or '10. Dr. Sill was the 
early physician. He died in early years ; he was the father of Dr. 

Sill, of Livonia, and Sill of Wheatland. He was succeeded 

in practice by Dr. Augustus VVolcott, who emigrated west in early 
years. Ashbel Atkins was the early tanner and shoe makei-. The 
earliest religious meetings were held in a small building called the 
" town house, " opposite the Park, which also answered the purpo- 
ses of a school-house. Elder Joseph Lindsley was the first resident 
clergyman. That portion of Morris Reserve and the Holland Pur- 
chase lying west of Geneseo, commenced settling along in 1805 and 
'6, and Geneseo being upon the main thoroughfare, its trade, and 
the business of its public houses, derived a considerable impetus 
from it. Much of the trade of the new settlers was done there and 
the grain raised upon Wadsworths, Jones, and Mt. Morris flats, 
was their principal dependence. 


In 1793 or '4, DeEoui, a Frenchman, wandered to this region with a single 
eninpaniun, a negro slave, Imilt a log cabin on Wadsworth's flats, and lived tJie 
life of a recluse. He was a nati\ e 'jf Alsace. While a youth, he cjuarrellcd 
witha fiiend, wounded liim in a duel, fled to St. Domingo, where he .served 
as a ])rivate soldier, until his sajtcndp attainments reeonuuended him for em- 
ployment in llie pul.lic ,ser\ !«• as an engineer. He finally received the appoin- 
ment of Inspector General of the higliroads, and became besides, a consider- 
able planter. Tlie rf\(»lution in St. ijoininon, bi'caking out, lie tied to Amer- 
ica, bringing with hiii! om faithful servant, iuict the remnant of hk eaalo, a 



few bills on France. Col. Wadsworth, of Hartford, assumed tlie neQ;otiation 
of his bills, ad\aiieod him money, and granted to him the use of a small ti-aet 
of land, which ho came on and occupied. When the Duke Liancourt, and 
his Frvnch compani(jns were upon the river, in 1795, they visited .ii.n and 
spent the night in his hut. They found him a confinnc-d misanthrope, but 
pleased at the unexpected visit of his ccuiitryinon to his backwooils I'etreat. A 
highly cultivated mind had been soured by misfortune ; and he had contract- 
ed a disgust for his race, seeking no other associates but his taitliful servant, 
who cooked his food, and cultivated a small patch (jf ground for tlu.-ir nuitual 
sustenance. Ll^nless he is right in assuming that he finally joined a colony of 
his countrymen at Asylum, in Pennsylvania, the author is unable to state 
what became of him. 



In 1788, John H. Jones had joined his brother Horatio, in Gene- 
\a. In the spring of 1789, having obtained a yoke of oxen, the 
two brothers went into what is now Phelps, found an open spot, 
ploughed and planted five or six acres of corn, which they sold on 
the ground. In August of that year, the Indians having promised 
Horatio a tract of land west of the Genesee river, the advent of 
the two brothers, was as related in page 328. 

With the history of Horatio Jones, the public have already been 
made familiar. In a previous work of the author's — the history 
of the Holland Purchase,— there is a sketch of his life. Identified 
as he had become, with the Senecas, and shaving hirgely in their 
esteem and confidence, in his settlement west of the river, he had 
relied upon their intention of granting him his location, in which 
he was not disappointed, as will be seen in connection with the 
Morris treaty. Receiving from President Washington the appoint- 
ment of Indian interpreter, in early years, his attendance upon 
treaties, the accompanying of Indian delegation.^ to the seat of gov- 
ernment, and various other trusts connected with the Indians, em- 
ployed most of his time. When alive, there veas none of our race, 
save Mary Jemison, who had been so long a resident of this region. 
He was with Col. Broadliead in his expedition to the Allegany, and 
as an Indian prisoner, he resided at Nunda, as early as 1781. The 

Nom — Noouo wlioselot was ever cast with the Seiiccas, was a better jikIot of 
Iheir chiiriietcr; mikI no one lui^ in ii ,nm\>}T ■.Icirrii'j contribute!! lis .ii;r kiuiv-U'd^e of 
them. Ills lirothcr gave to tlie author, some observations of his, in reference to^thok 






farming principally devolved upon John II. Jones, and in early years, 
the brothers were large producers, especially of corn, for the new' 
settlers who dropped in around and beyond them. At a primitive 
period, when the In/lians in all that region, far out numbere<l the 
whites — at a period too, when they were unreconciled, and unde- 
termined, as to their relations with the whites, Horatio Jones ex- 
ercised a salutary influence; and to him much of the credit is due, 
for the .success of Indian treaties, and the suppression of hostilities. 
The Indian captive boy became the arbitrer between his captors 
and his own race ; and by an inherent strength of mind and energy 
of character, which marked him as no ordinary man, made eaSy 
misfortune the means ol conspicuously identifying himself with the 
early iiistory of ali tiiis region : rendering to it essential service in 
years of weakness ; becoming in fact, a founder of settlement and 
civilization upon soil where he began his career as an alien and 

Among the captives with whom he became acquainted while in 
captivity himself, was the daughter of Whitmore, of Schenec- 
tady. She was rele;tsed with him at the treaty of Fort Stanwix, 
soon after which they were married. She died in 1794. He died 
1830, aged 75 years. The surviving sons, are : — William, Hiram 
and Charles, of Leicester, Horatio, of Moscow, Seneca, a Califor- 
nia adventurer. Daughters : —Mrs. Lyman of Moscow, Mrs. 
Fitzhugh, of Saginaw, Michigan, Mrs. Hewitt and Mrs. B. F. Angell, 
of Geneseo, Mrs. Fintey, of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Two sons,' 
George and James, were killed at the IJritish attack on Lewiston,' 
in the war of 181'J. 

John H. Jones, is now living at the age of 80 years, his mind 
but little impaired, and with the exception of rheumatism, a physi- 
cal constitution but little broken. In 1792, lie was engaged 
in the Indian trade at the mouth of Genesee river, upon Ihe 
Allegany river, and Cattaraugus creek. He speaks familiarly 
of being at Buffalo, when the only white inhabitant was Win- 

Tnt 1 I i • '• '\''"'' " " '"'"T*"' '"'•" "^■^■'-■'' '"^^''"■^' ''<'^'>' l'"l'li^l"''i. ill' used to 
H!X^ tjMt thou- soutlicTi, wMrs M-,ih llioirowii ntcc, tlicir Kurass in tlu'tn. were .,ft,.n 
tl.rii-tljn,,i t HMVMr .la.Kv, ;iii.l iu Hum,- ui-wiinis. ii,. iw.s oflon hvnvd ilu, „ld 

IT,'/' > ' I ",' '■'''■>■ "•'""" "'' '^''"'■'■■'. lui'l .1 ffiTor will. IiHliaiis .,f (itli.M- naliniiH 

At t ij' south ami tlu. wc'st, iiiid aiiinnir iho nalions u{ dnuuh. tlic Sciiwii wai-wiioon" 
would almost .•oiHiuci' of iiscli: II,. said that even as lalo as (ho war uf 18l:>, the In- 
auiiiH <.t ( aiia.ia struok with tenor, whuii they k-amed that thov luusttncouuter 



ncy, a Butler Ranger, and the only resident on all the south 
shore of Lake Erie, west of Buffalo, other than Indinns, was " Black 
Joe," a fugitive slave, at the mouth of Cattaraugus creek. Judge 
Jones was a magistrate of Ontario before the division; soon after 
Genesee was set off, he became one of its Judges, and from 1812 to 
1822, was first Judge of Genesee, and after that for several years 
of Livingston. He was the first supervisor of Leicester, and was 
in all early years, a prominent, active helper in pioneer movements. 
His surviving sons are, George W., Ilorntio, Thomas J., James M., 
John H., Lucicn B., Iliram, and Fayette, all residing in his imme- 
diate neighborhood ; and Napoleon N., of Scottsville. Daughters ; 
Mrs. Clute, of Cuylerville, Mrs. William Jones, of Leicester, Mrs. 
James Jones, of Cincinnatti. 

The three brothers, Jellis, Thomas and William Clute, from 
Schenectady, were early settlers at Leicester. Jellis was engaged 
in the Indian trade at Beardstown. Thomas and William settled 
at Gardeau. 

The Rev. Samuel J. Mills was a graduate of Yale College, a na- 
tive of Derby, Conn. He emigrated to the Genesee river in 1795. 
He joined Thomas Morris and others in the purchase of 10,000 
acres of land in Groveland and Sparta, at a period of high prices, 
paying and contracting to pay 80 per acre. The price soon fell 
below 82. He settled near where Col. Fitzhugh afterwards loca- 
ted ; erecting a framed house and moving into it, it burned down, 
with all his household furniture, the family barely escaping. This, 
with his unfortunate investment in lands, embarrassed him, and dis- 
couraged the spirit of enterprise that had brought him from New 
England. He was the early minister, for several years itinerating 
among the new settlements, until the period of his death, soon after 
1800. His wife returned to Connecticut. One of his sons, the 
late Gen. William A. Mills, was destined +0 a more fortunate career. 
Thrown upon his own resources at the age of 17, he rented flats 
of the Indians, occupying a shantee, where he lived alone at Mount 
Morris, his nearest neighbors, the Indians. Renting iiis land upon 
easy terms, and hiring the Indians and Squaws to assist iiim in 
working it, ho was soon enabled to erect a distillery ; and when the 
Mount Morris tract was opened for sale, he purchased from time 
to time, until he became possessed of eight hundred acres, including 
several hundred acres oi the fine flats opi)osite the present village 



of Mount Morris. His Indian name, " Sa-nem-ge-wa," (generous) 
would indicate their esteem for him, and the probity that governed 
his early intercourse with them. He spoke their language (luent- 
ly, and from early associations, was much attached to them. When, 
after their removal, they would occasionlly revisit their old homes 
upon the Genesee, he met them, and treated them as old friends. * 
To his distilling and grain raising in early years, he added grazing 
upon the Mount Morris and Gardeau flats, and became finally large- 
ly engaged in that business ; and successful, as many have witness- 
ed at our early county and State fairs. He was for twenty years, 
the Supervisor of Mount Morris ; a commissioned officer in the 
early military organization in his region, he was upon the frontier 
in the war of 1912, and in later years, rose to the rank of Brig. 
General. He died in 1844, aged 67 years. His sons are : — Wil- 
liam A., Sidney H., Minard.H. and Julius F., of Mount Morris, 
and Dr. xMyron H., ol' Rochester. Daughters : — Mrs. Levi Beach 
of Knox county, Ohio, Mrs. Dr. G. W. Branch and jMrs. William 
Hamlin, of Mount Morris. 

Alexander Mills, another son of the early Pioneer, Rev. Samuel 
J. Mills, located at Olean in an early day, where he was extensively 
engaged in the lumber trade ; now resides in Cleveland. Major 
Philo Mills, another son, located in Groveland, emigrated to Tecum- 
seh, Michigan. Frederick L. Mills, another son, 'located on flats; 
he died in 1834; his living descendants are :— George, of Mount 
Morris, Philo, of Groveland, Lewis, of Allegany, and Mrs. Hunt, 
of Groveland. 

The first saw mill west of Genesee river, (save one at Niagara 
Falls, erected by Stedman,) was erected by Ebenezer Allan, on° the 
outlet of the Silver Lake. This supplied the first board^^ had in the 
ui)per valley of the Genesee. It was built in 1792, and raised by 
the help of the Indians, for the want of suflicient white men in the 
country. In some of the earliest years. Judge Phelps had a distil- 
lery erected near the present village of Moscow. In 1800, Augus- 
tus Porter, as the agent of Oliver Phelps, laid out the village' of 

And tl'is, the mitlior would here remark, wns not unlike the rcLitio", that existed 
.etween nios of (he I'lonenrs of the (ieiuwee country and the Indians, wlioro they 
hecarne nei-hliors ni early years, and Koniethin.' .'.f mutual dependence existed 
Jl.veii now. ni our I'ities fiud vill.u.f... tl.f. ,,i.i i>:, „,,,.,, _.. ,,.,:,,, i jv .. • ■, 

mg uitn (legrudation, and j.roinpt to resist any insult otrored totiieui. 



Leicester, * on a tract ho had purchased of Jones and Smith, and 
opened the direct road across the flats to " Jones' Ford ;" previous 
to which, it had cjone via Beardstown. He also erected a saw mill 
on Beards' Creek, near the present village of Moscow. For several 
years after 1800, the village of Leicester bore an important relation 
to the new settlements forming in Wyoming, Allegany, and south 
part of Erie. The early and well known tavern keeper, was 
Leonard Stimson, from Albany, who had been engaged in a 
small Indian trade at Mount Morris. He opened the first store, 
and started the first blacksmith shop. He left Geneseo soon after 
the war of 1812 ; his descendants reside in the neighborhood of 
Rochester. The first physician was Dr. Paul Newcomb. Colonel 
Jedediah Horsford, the present M. C. I'rom Livingston, was an early 
teacher of a missionary school at Squaky Hill, and an early land- 
lord at Moscow. Joel Harvey was an early tavern keeper a little 
west of Old Leicester. 

The first town meeting in Leicester, was held at the house of 
Joseph Smith. John J. Jones was elected Supervisor ; George A. 
Wheeler, Town Clerk. Other town officers : — Samuel Ewing, 
Alpheus Harris, Dennison Foster, Abel Cleavland, Samuel Hascall, 
George Gardner, Wm. A. Mills, Joel Harvey, David Dickinson, 
James Dale. 

One hundred dollars was raised to pay " bounty on wolves and 
wild cats, killed by white people." 

By a resolution of a special town meeting, in 1803, town of An- 
gelica was set ofT from Leicester. 

The village of Moscow was started just after the close of the 
war of 1812, under the auspices of the late Samuel M. Hopkins, 
who in company with Benjamin W. Rngers, had purchased three 
fourths of the original Jones and Smith's Indian grant, of Isaac 
Bronson. Hopkins built the fine residence now owned by W. T. 
Cuylor, between Cuylerville and Moscow. The first merchant was 
Nicholas Ayrault, late of Rochester ; Wm. Robb, William Lyman, 
and Sherwood and Miller, were (\irly merchants. The earl v land- 
lords were: — Jessee Wadhams, Wm. T. Jenkins, Homer Sher- 
wood. Early lawyers, other than S. M. Hopkins: — Felix Tracy, 
John Baldwin, George Miles, recently one the Judges of the Su- 


* Name, from Oliver Lciceater Plielps. 



preme Court, of Michigan. Rev. Mr. Mason founded the first 
Presbyterian church. An Academy was founded principally under 
the auspices of Mr. Hopkins, in 1817; the first rrinci])al \vas Og- 
den M. Willey ; his assistants, the Miss Raymonds, one of whom 
became the wife of the Rev. Calvin C. Colton, the author of the 
hfe of Henry Clay, then a settled Presbyterian minister, at Batavia. 
The early physicians were : — Asa R. Palmer, J. W. Montross, 
Daniel II. and Daniel P. Bissell. 

Cuylerville sprung up after the completion of the Genesee Valley 
Canal. W. T. Cuyler, who was an early citizen of Rochester, pur- 
chased tile Hopkins house and farm, of Richard Post, a son of the 
late Dr. Post, of ^cw York, in 1830. TJie village has grown up 
on or near the site of the old Indian village of Beardstown, where the 
road from Perry and Warsaw crosses the canal. Mr. Cuyler 
started the first ford warding and commission house; the early mer- 
chants were: — Odell and Evans, and Joseph Wheelock. 

From Ebenezer Allan, the Mt. Morris tract, of four scjuare miles, 
went into the hands of Robert Morris, and afterwards his son Thom- 
as became a joint owner with others. Col. John Trumbull, of 
Revolutionary memory, the celebrated artist, was one of the early 
proprietors. He visited the country, and selected for his residence, 
the site, in the present village, now occupied by George Hastino's, 
Esq.; planted an orchard, and made some preparations for building. 
The name, which had been " Allan's Hill," he changed to " Rich- 
mond Hill." Afterwards, when he had abandoned the idea of 
making it his residence, the name was changed to Mt. Morris. The 
early jjroprietors of the tract, other than those named, were : — Mr. 
Fitzsimmons, of Philadelphia, Charles Williamson, Robert Troup, 
the Messrs. Wadsworths, John Murray* & Sons, of New York 
(of which firm Wm. Ogden was a partner,) Benj. W. Rod-'ers' 
Isaac Bronson, Gen. JMills, and Jessee Stanley, were the prominent 
pioneers of settlement. Deacon Stanley was from Goshen, Conn., 
his residence was the site now occupied by James Bond. He died 
in 184G, aged 90 years ; he was the father of Oliver Stan-ley, of 
Mt. Morris. The village has grown up principally on the lands of 
Messrs. Mills, Stanley, and Mai'k Hopkins, a brother of Samuel M. 

* .Tdlin \{. Miirrny, <if Mr. ArniTis is tlio !rrnnil*tn of J<>liu Muiray. Ihe o.".rl-.- jiniiiri.' 
tor at Mt. Murri«, aud owner of tlio towiiwluj', uuw Oyduu. 



Hopkins. Mr. Hopkins came on as agent for owners, soou after the 
tract was opened for sale. He died soon after 1820. 



Following the tract of Mr. Williamson when he broke in from 
Pennsylvania and made a commencement at Williamsburg, settlers 
soon began to drop into the valley of the Canascraga. In Grove- 
land, other than at Williamsburg, John Smith was the Pioneer. He 
wasiiom New Jersey, a surveyor ii. the eii.j)loy of Mr. Williamson. 
He purchased a mile square, upon which he resided until his death 
in 1817. Benjamin Parker, a step son ul' John Smith, John Harri- 
son, William and Thomas Lemen, William and Daniel Kelley, 
James Roseborough, were among the earliest. Smith in '99, built a 
mill between Hornellsville and Arkport, and as early as 1800 took 
lumber from it to the Baltimore market. Michael Roup was an early 
Pioneer upon the up lands in Groveland, with his son Christain 
Roup, He died during the war of 1812 ; iMichael Roup, of Grove- 
land is his son. The early minister that visited the neighborhood was 
the Rev. Mr. Gray ; the first school taught was by Robert M'- 
Kay, in one of the houses that the Germans had deserted. 

The early Pioneers of Sparta, on the Canascraga, between jNIount 
Morris and Dansville, were : — J. Duncan, John Clark, Thomas 
Ward, Wm. McCartney, Henry Driesback, Benjamin Wilcox, Geo. 
Wilkenson, Rev. Andrew Grey, John McNair. 

In Groveland, other than those named in another connection : — 
Samuel Nibleck, (Nibleck's Hill,) William Martin, Samuel Stilwell, 
John Vance, Doty, Ewart. 

In reference to all the upper valley of the Canascraga, Dansville 
was the prominent pioneer locality, as it is now the focus of business 
and enteri)rise. The Pioneer in the town of Sparta, near the present 
village of Dansville, was Hugh McCartney, who had accompanied 
Mr. Williamson from Scotland, and of whom, the author has no ac- 
count other than the fact of his early advent. Upon the site of the 
village of Dansville, Neil McCoy, was the first settler. He came 
from Painted Post, and located where his step-son, James McCurdy^ 
who came in with him, now resides. The family were four days in 



making the journey from Painted Post, camping out two niirhts on 
the way. The only tenement they found, was a small hut built for 
surveyors, where Conrad Welch now resides on Ossian street. At 
this time there was no white inhabitant in what is now the town of 
Dansville. Preparing logs for a house 14 by 18 feet, help to raise 
it came from Bath, Geneseo and Mount Morris, with Indians Irom 
Squaky Hill and Gardeau. It is mentioned by Mr. McCurdy, in 
some reminiscences he contributed several years since to a local 
history of Dansville,* from which the author derives many facts to 
add to what he has gleaned from other sources, that his mother, Mrs. 
M'Coy, the first season heard of the arrival of Judge Hurlburt's iamily 
at Arkport, on the Canisteo, eleven miles distant, and as an act of 
backwoods courtesy, resolved upon making the first call. Taking 
her son (McCuidy) with her, she made the visit through the woods 
by marked trees, dined with her new neighbors, and returned in 
time to do her milking, after a walk, going and coming of twenty- 
two miles ! During the first winter they needed no hay for their 
stock, the rushes upon the Canascraga flats furnishing a substitute, 
upon which their cattle would thrive. The Indians belonging in the 
villages along the Genesee river, were almost constantly encamped on 
the flats of the Canascraga, as high up as Dansville, principally engag- 
ed in hunting, though they cultivated small patches of ground, l^ietr 
venison and corn was a part of the subsistence of the new settlers. 
Mr. McCoy died in 1809, childless; his representative, and the 
occupant of his primitive locality, is James M'Curdy Esq., his step 

The venerable Amariah Hammond, for a long period a patriarch 
of the setflement and village of Dansville, after living to see a young 
and flourishing city grow up in the wilderness, where he so early 
cast his lot, died in the winter of '50, '51. His large farm, is im- 
mediately adjoining the village, on the main road' to Geneseo. 
Daughters of his, became the wives of L. Bradfor, Esq., and Dr. 
James Faulkner, both of whom are prominently identified with the 
locality. L. C. Woodruff; Esq., formerly of Lockport, graduating 
in his youth from a printing office, and now the principal active 
manager of the Bank of Dansville, a sound and flourishing institu- 
tion, married the daughter of Mr. Bradner, the grand-daughter of 

If i 

'Miniature uf Diinsville," by J. W. Claik. 



the early and much respected Pioneer. The first wife of Mr. 
Huinniond died in 1798, " She had," says Mr. M'Curdy, "endear- 
ed herself to all of us by hei many virtues. When she died, all 
wept who had hearts and eyes." 

The author of the small local history already named, states that 
Mr. Hammond on coming in to explore, slept two nights under a 
pine tree on the premises he afterwards purchased. Early in the 
spring of 1796, " he removed his young family from Bath to this 
place ; his wife and infant child on horseback, his household goods 
and farming utensils on a sled drawn by four oxen, and a hired man 
driving the cattle." Some difficulty occurring in getting the cattle 
through the woods, Mr. Hammond after arriving at his log cabin, 
went b;ick upon his track, and remained in the woods all night, 
leaving his young wife with her infant child to sjiend the first night 
alone. Mr. Hammond among other instances of the embarrass- 
ments of pioneer life, that he used to relate, said that the first scythes 
he used, cost him a journey to Tioga Point. Two scythes and the 
journey costing him eleven dollars. 

In relating to his London principals the progress of settlement, 
Mr. Williamson says: — "I sold also on six years credit, the west 
half of township No. 6, Gth range," (this includes a large portion of 
the site of Dansville,) to a Mr. Fitzgerald, at $1 50 i»or acre. He 
so^d the land to gentlemen in Pennsylvania for a large profit. The 
purchasers were, a Mr. Wilson, one of the Judges of Northumber- 
land CO., a Mr. C. Hall, a counsellor at law in Pennsylvania, a Mr. 
Dunn, and a Mr. Faulkner. These gentlemen have carried on the 
settlement with much spirit, and Mr. Faulkner is at the head of it. 
The\- have a neat town, a company of militia, two saw mills and a 
grist mill, and indeed, every convenience. Mr. Faulkner, although 
he came from Pennsylvania, was originally from the State of New 
York, north from Albany. This winter he went down to see his 
father and other connections ;. the consequence was, that he moved 

Note. — In "Uescriptiniis of tlie Geiicsoc country," -Bjiftcu liy Mr. Willianisoii, in 
798, 111' ii'iiiiirks : — " Ol'tlidso M'ttlcnicntH lu'guii fii ]7!)(i iJiuro tiro two worthy ofiio- 
ice , tiiat (if tlie Ui'v. Mr. Gray, in T. 4, 7th l<;ingc, who removed from ruunsylvaniix 
ritli a ri'spci'tablf ]iart of liis former j);iri>h, ami a ^Mr. Daniol Faulkner, witU ir.lereey 
cttlcmcnt, on the head of Canaseraga ereek ; both of them exhibit iristances of iudus- 
ry and enterprisi'. I'lie ensuini^ season, ilr. Faulkner beinf,'a]i])ointed cajitain of a 
onipany of i,n-eiiadiers to be rai.-ed in his settlement, at the ori;anization of tlie militia 
if Steuben, ;i[)|ie;i.'eil on parade ai the head of 27 f,Tena(!!ers, all in a iiandsonie uuiform, 
llld well .armed, mid eiiniiuiseil Riilelv iif the. vniinir ihi'M nf liis Hetfli'iiipiit " 




up about fifteen very decent families, who passed through Albany 
with excellent teams, every way well equipped. He sold to some 
very wealthy and respectable men of Albany. r,,000 acres at a large 
profit. " The Captain Faulkner, who Mv. Williamson names, was 
Daniel P. Faulkner, an early patroon ol Uansville, as will be infer- 
red. "Capt. Dan. Faulkner," was his familiar backwoods appella- 
tive, and thence the name ~ Dans-vWle." He was the uncle of Dr. 
James Faulkner. 

Soon after settlement commenced, Mr. Williamson had erected 
a grist and saw mill, on the .site afterwards occupied by Col. Roches- 
ter. David Scholl, who was Mr. Williamson's mill-wriglit at the 
Lyons mills, erected the mills. The early mill-wright of the Gen- 
esee country, emigrated many years since to Michigan. Mrs. Sol- 
omon and Mrs. Isaac Fentztermacher, of Dansville, are his diuightcrs. 
The mill was burned down soon after 1800, after which, befm-e re- 
building, the neighborhood had to go to Bosley's mills at the foot of 
Hemlock Lake. 

Jacob Welch came from Pennsylvania to Dansville, in 1708. 
He died in 1831. His widow still survives, aged 80 years. His 
sons, Jacob, Henrv and Conrad, are residents of Dansville. His 
daughters became the wives of John Beltz, Peter Labach, Will- 
iam Kercher, and Valentine Hamsher. The deccndants of Jacob 
Welch, residents of Dansville and its vicinity, number over one 
hundred and thirty. The part of his farm inherited by his son 
Conrad Welch, embraces the Dansville canal slip and basin. Mr. 
Conrad Welch, a prominent and \vorthy citizen of Dansville, gave 
the author some account of the early advent of his fathcr,'^and 
others: — "My grand-fulher, Jacol) Martz, resided near Sunbury, 
Northumberland county, Pa. The advent of Charles Williamson 
through that region, his road, and all that was going on under Wu 
auspices, created a good deal of interest for the Genesee country. 
Jacob Martz came out and viewed it, and returning, reported so 
favorably, that an emigrant party was soon organized. It consisted 
of Jacob Martz, In's son Conrad Martz, George Shirey, Frederick 
Barnhart and Jacob Welch, and their flnuilies. The partv came 
via Batii, and up the Conhocton. From what afterwards became 
Blood's corners, the emigrants had their own road to make througn 
to Dansville. A winding road had been underbrushed, but no 
streams bridged, and high winds had encumbered it with fallen trees 



They were three days coming in from Buth, camping out two nights. 
Hearing of our approach, the new settlers in Dansville nearly all 
turned out, met and assisted us. Prominent of the party was Mr. 
Faulkner, who was ahvay ready to assist new settlers by such acts 
of kindness. Occupying an old deserted hut, and quartering our- 
selves upon the settlers in their log cabins, we got through the 
winter, and in the spring erected log cabins for ourselves. When 
we arrived, Samuel Faulkner had opened a small framed tavern, 
near where Mr. Bradner's store now is. In addition to the Faulk- 
ners, Hammond, and M'Coy, there was here when we arrived, 
Wm. riienix, James Logan, David Scholl, John Vandeventer,* the 
father-ill-law of Escp Hammond, Jared Erwin.Wm. Perrine. Tliere 
was three or four families along on the road to Williamsburg." 

"There had been, where Dansville now is, a pretty large Indian 
.settlement, fifteen or twenty huts were standing when white settle- 
ment commenced, and several Indian families lingered for several 
years in the neighborhood." 

"Game was very abundant; the new settlers could kill deer 
about when they pleased. After yarding their sheep, they would 
often have to go out and scare the wolves off. In cold winter 
nights, the wolves would set up a terrific howl in all the surround- 
ing forests. They attacked cattle ; in one instance, they killed a cow 
of my grand-father Martz. Steel traps, dead falls and pits, were 
put in requisition, and soon thinned them out. There was fine fish- 
ing in the streams. iMill Creek, especially, was a fine trout stream. 
Pigeons were so abundant, that almost uniformly, newly sowed 
fields had to be watched almost constantly." 

* A l)riitlic;r of Isaac VaiidevoiitLT, tlie oarly sottluroii liulfalo i-oacl west of Clarence 

Note. — The autlKU- copies iVoin the iiiamiacripts of W. H. C. Hosmer, Esq., the fol- 
lowintj account of a!i " ancient trrave at Dansville : " — 

"Picibre the Revoliuioii, aceonlint; to Indian tradition, a liattlo took place on a hill 
a few miles distant fioui the village of Dansville, lietweeuthe Cauisteo Indians ajid 
those livin.s; on the ' Gii-nose-ga-j^-o,' [Canascra,L,a] Creek. A chief of the latter, of 
preat renown, was slain, and 1)!nie(l with f^reat ])onip by nis trihesmen. When the 
wliites first settled here, ihe spot where he f'.dl was niarkeil by a lar!j;e liole dug in the 
shajie of a man prostrate, with his arms extended. An Indian trail Idl liy the phice, 
and the passing,' red man was accustomed to clear away the dry leaves and brush 
lilown in by tlie winds, 'i'lie chief was interrt'd in an old burial jdace near the present 
site of Ihe 'Lutheran Church in the village of l);insville. The ground was formerly 
covered with graves to the extent of two or three anres. His monument consisted of 
a large pile of small stones, gathered IVom time to time by the natives, from a hill, a 
miledislant; ]iassiiig, they would add to tlie heap, by lusslng ou ii, after the manner 
of the ancient Cakdoui;uis", tlieir rude tiibules of .all'ectiou." 


h ! 





The primitive settlers of Dansville were mostly Lutherans, or 
Dutch lli'Ibrmed. The first meetings were held from house to 
liouse ; Frederick Biirnhurt or Adiim Miller, usually taking the 
lead. The Rev. Mr. Murkle, a Lutheran jn-eachcr from Geneva, 
occasionally visited the place, as did Elder Gray. The first loca- 
ted minister, was the Rev. Mr. Pratt. The Rev. Hubbard, a 

son-in-law of Moses Van Campen, was an early settled minister. 
He was the father of John Hubbard, of Oswego. 

Jonathan Rowley was an early landlord in Dansville ; he erect- 
ed for a tavern the first brick house in the villaae. He died in 
1830, childless; the only representative of the family, residing in 
Dansville, is a niece of Mr. Rowley, the wife of Samuel W. 

William Perrine, has been before named as one of the primitive 
class of Pioneers, died in 1847, at the advanced age of 93 years. 
He was a soldier of the Revolution in the Pennsylvania line. His 
son, Peter Perrine, occupies the farm on which his father originally 
settled, near the village. William Perrine, of South Dansville, and 
Robert Perrine, of West Sparta, are also sons of the early Pioneer. 
Mrs. Robert Thompson, of Dansville, is a daughter of his. 

Harman Iiartman was one of the earliest of the Pennsylvania 
emigrants. His descendants are numerous, residing princii)ally in 
Dansville and its vicinity. 

Hugh McCurdy, Esq., in a statement made for tlie author of the 
published reminiscences of Dansville, already alluded to, says : — 
" The first tanner and currier was Israel Vandeventer ; the first black- 
smith, James Porter ; the first marriage was that of Wm. McCartnev 
to Mary McCurdy ; our first school was taught by Thomas Mac- 
lain ; the first established preacher and founder of a church among 
us, was the Rev. Andrew Gray ; the first Justice of the peace was 
Dr. James Faulkner, (uncle to the present Dr. James Faulkner;) 
the first Supervisor was Amariah Hammond ; the first death was 
that of Captain Nathaniel Porter ; the first P. M. was Israel Irwin ; 
the first merchant goods were brought in by Captain Daniel P. 
Faulkner ; the next merchant, Jared Ervvin. He died of the pre- 
vailing fever during the war of 1812 ; his widow became the wife 
of Col. James JM'Burney ; Mrs. Gansevoort, of Bath, is his daugh- 


Joshua Shepherd, L. Bradner and S. W. Smith, were early and 



proniinont mcrclmnts of Dansville. Mr. Sliephenl died in lh'29 ; 
Mr. Bnidner is the President of tlie Bank of Dansville ; Mr. Smith 
is a son of the early landlord on the main road fn n Avon to Cale- 

I'inneer settlers of Dansville, other ii:an tht'se named : — Natha- 
niel Porter, John Haas, Thonias Mc' 'i..>rt( i. Samuel vShannon. 
James Harrison, Daniel Hamsher, TJathe ],orr, Oliver Warren. 
a ne{)he\v of Dr. Warren, of llevolutionar} .Tiemory. 

Col. Xathaniel Rochester became aresideni of Dansville in 1810, 
purchasing a large tract of land, which includes the greater portion 
ol' the water power now within the limits of the corporation. The 
old Williamson mills were eiribraced in his })urchase. lie added 
to till! mills, a paper mill, the pioneer establishment in that line, in 
all western New York. * In 1815, Col. Rochester sold his land, 
mills, and water power, to the Rev. Christian Endress from the 
borough of Easton, Pa., and Mr. Jacob Opp, from Northampton Co.. 
Pa. Mr. Endress resided in Dansville but a year, when he return- 
ed, and resumed the charge of a German Lutheran cougregation in 
Easton. He died in Lancaster, Pa., in 1827. His interest in 
Dansville was purchased by Dr. James Faulkner. Judge Endress 
and Dr. Endress, of Dansville, are his sons. Mr. Opp died in 
Louisville, in 1847, aged 84 years. Henry B. Opp, of Dansville, is 
his son. 

North Dansville, in which is the site of Dansville village, was in 
the county of Steuben, until 1822, when it was attached to the 
town of Sparta, Livingston county. In 1840, the old town of 
Sparta was divided into three towns — of which the town of 
North Dansville, three miles square, was one. The town of Dans- 
ville, is still in Steuben county. 

Although it is one of the pioneer localities, of the Genesee coun- 
try, and commenced in an early period to be a place of considera- 
ble business, Dansville was but little known in the northern por- 
tion of western New York, until after the completion of the Gene- 
see Valley Canal ; and even now, away from the main eastern and 
western thoroughfares, as it is, it may well be presumed that this 
work will fall into the hands of many readers, who have neither 

* The pnro ■water at Dansville aiul fine ■n-ator pciwcr, has invitod tliis braiirli of inanu- 
fnpluvcs tlii'iv to a axeat cxtt-iit. TliiTu wire I'mr larire ])ai>L'r mills tlare in 1844, 
iiiauutai'turiiig over $1UII,UUU worth of paper jxir aiiiunu. 




seen the bustlinrr, prosperous large village, hid away among the 
southorn hills, nor perhaps, read any account of it. For this rea- 
son, a brief topographical sketch will be given — a departure from 
the uniform purpose of the author, in this history of pioneer set- 

Thouy'i some sixteen miles from the Genesee River, it is in fact 
at the head of the Genesee Valley.* Coming down through the nar- 
row gorges of Allegany and the southern portion of Livingslon, the 
river has but an occasional broad sweep of flats, until it reaches Mt. 
Morris. The flats of the river are continuous, and mostly of uni- 
form width, from a few miles above Rochester, to Mount Morris, 
from whicli point gradually narrowing, they follow the course of the 
Canascraga to Dans vi lie, where, after widening out, and gradually 
rising in beautiful table lands, they come to an abrupt termination, 
and are hemmed in by hills. The Canascraga, Mill Creek, and 
Stony Brook, coming down from the highlands, through narrow 
gorgi?s, enter the valley and unite maiidy within the village limits. 
The Canascraga enters the valley through a narrow pass called 
"Pog's Hole," through whicli, climbing along a steep acclivity, and 
tb.en descending to a level with the stream, passes the Ilornellsville 
road. Upon the opposite side of the stream from the road, through 
the whole length of the narrow pass, is a perpendicular ledge of 
rocks, an hundred feet in height. Beyond this pass, the valley 
widens out occasionally, into small areas of intervale, but ranges of 
highlands rise in near proximity on either hand. The scenery is 
wild and romantic, at every step reminding the contemplative ob- 
server, of the written descriptions of the passes of the Aljis. Mill 
creek making in irom another direction, has a rai)id descent for a con- 
siderable distance, before reaching the valley, furnishing a succes- 
sion of hydraulic facilities, as does the Canascraga, where it jjasses 
from the highlands, and for a considerable distance below. The 
aggregate durable water power of both streams, before and after 
their union, is immense —largely improved now — and equal to any 
present or prospective retiuirements. 

At the head of the valley, is a succession of promontories, over- 
looking the town, upon one of which is a rural cemetery, not unlike the 
Mt. Hope, at the other extremity of the Genesee Valley. Moulder- 

* Tl.p term " viillov " ia here uml not in its luliirged House — the term " flats " would 
ptTLiipri be better. 



ing in its shades, upon its slopes and summits, are all that was earth- 
ly of nearly all the rioncers, who, eiiterin-j; that beautil'ul valley, 
when it was a wilderness, laid, amid toil, disease, and j>rivations, the 
foundation of that busy scene of enterprise, ])rosperity and happi- 
ness. Admonished may their successors and inheritors be, that 
their spirits may be lingering upon that summit, (guardians and 
watchers, over those to whom they bequeathed so rich an inherit- 
ance. Let that elevated city of the dead, be to them a Mount Sinai 
or an Horeb, i'rom which to catch, as if by inspiration, a nioietv of 
the stern resolves, the moral courage, the patriotism, of the Pioneers. 

The main street of tlic town is parallel with, and at the base of 
an unbroken range of high land, rising to the height of nearly f /e 
hundred feet — steep, but yet admitting of cultivation. Cultivated 
fields and woodlands, rising one above another, form tiie back grounti, 
or rurd landscape ; iu the foreground are gentle olfsets, or table 
lands, at the termination of which, the Canascraga winds along the 
base of another similar hill, or mountain range ; to the left are the 
headlands, that have been named, and to the right, the Canascra- 
ga, winding along between the two ranges of highlands, ilows to min- 
gle its waters with the Genesee, at Mount Morris. 

The Genesee Valley Canal, terminateti a half mile from main street, 
where it is fed from Mill creek, and a mile below, at Woodville, 
receives the waters of the Canascraga. The canal terminating 
too far from the central business locality of the town, individual 
enterprise has supplied a side cut, or slip which remedies the incon- 

In reference to the whole scenery of the southern portion of the 
Genesee country, the upper vallios of the Genesee, the Canascraga, 
the Allegany, the Cattaraugus, the Conhocton, and the Canisteo, it 
may here be remarked, that the traveller or tourist of wdiat Mr. 
Williamson called the "northern plains, " who breaks out for a 
summer excursion to the east, the north or the west, may be told 
that a day's journey to the south, will bring him to a region of hill 
and valley, rivers and creeks, mountains and rivulels. cultivated 
fields and wild woodlands, which should satisfy any reasonable desire 
for the romantic and picturesque. And if health is the object of 
his summer wanderings, no where can he breathe " freer and deeper," 
of a pure and invigorating atmosphere — or drink I'rom purer springs 
and streams, — thau in jdl our local southern reuion. 




He was of a family, the name and services of which are inti- 
nnately blended with the history of the stirrinsr events of the Rev- 
olution in the colony of Maryland. The lather, Col. William 
iMtzlmgh, held the commission of Colonel in the liritish army, 
retired upon half pay, when the troubles l)etween the colonies and 
the mother comitry commenced. IJe resided at the mouth of the 
Patuxent.^where he had a larw estate, a farm, mills and manufac- 
tories. Exercising an unusual share of inHuence with his fellow 
citixens,^ the Briti.-^h colonial Governor made him the extraordinary 
oiler of a continuance of his rank and half pav, and the (juie't 
possesion of his property if he would remain a neutral in the con- 
test. Though an uivalid, by ivason of physical infirmities, here- 
jected the overture, surrendered his connnis.sion — (or inther left it 
tipon the Covernoi''s table when he refu.sed to receive it) — encour- 
aged his two .sons to take commissions in the "rebel" army, takin<r 
himself a seat in the Executive council of Maryland, to assist in 
devising ways and means for his country's deliverance. His fine 
estate, easy of access from its locality, was of course doomed to pil- 
Inge and the torch. Tn the absence of the father and .sons, a small 
British party landed, but resistance came from an unexpected source. 
The Kevclutionaiy wife and mother. Mrs. Eitzhugh, armed the slaves 
iijHni the estate, and carrying herself carfridiies in her apron, went 
out to meet the invader.s and intimidated them to a hasty retreat. 
It was however, but a warding oil" of destiny for a brief season. A 
stronger party came and ruthlessly executed their mission, the 
family fleeing to an a.sylum fifty miles up the river where it remain- 
ed until the contest ended.* 

The son. Col. Peregrine Fitzhugh, was first commissioned in a 
corps of light horse, but in a later period of the war s enrolled in 
the military family of Washington. DCT See Soaus. William, 
the more immediate subject of this brief sketch, served as a Colonel 
in a division of cavalry, and after the war, was a member oi' the 
Maryland Legislature. Previous to ISOO Col. Peregrine Eif/.hugh 
had made the acquaintance of Mr. Willlam'son, and had visited the 

' PriiK iii.illv I'lom Mrs. EUet'w "Wonifu of Uie Revolution." 


•1 ■> 



Genesee Country. Wlien Col. Willhmi Fitzlmgh first visited the 
country in 1800 in company with Col. Nathaniel Rochester, Major 
Charles Carroll, and several others, he brought a letter of introduc- 
tion to Mr. Williamson from his brother, foi himself and Col. Roches- 
ter ; IMaJor Carroll as would seetu from the reading of the letter, 
having previously known him. During this visit, in addition to a 
third interest in the "100 acre Tract" at the Falls of the Genesee, pur- 
chased in company with Messrs. Rochester and Carroll, jointly with 
Mr. Carroll he purchased on the Canascraga, in Groveland and vSpar- 
ta, 12,000 acres of Mr. Williamson, paying 8 201) per acre.* Their 
tract embraced the old site of Williamsburg, Mi-. Williamson having 
abandoned his enterprise of forming a town there after the failure 
with his German colony. Leaving iheir property in the care of an 
agent. Messrs. Fit/hugh and Carroll did not emigrate with then 
families until 181(5, when a division of the joint purchase was 

Col. Fitzhughdied in 1839, aged 78 years; his wife, who was the 
daughter of Col. Daniel Hughes, of Washington county, Md., died in 
1821), aged 50 years. The surviving sons and daughters are : — 
Wm. H. Fit/.hugh, residing upon the old homestead in Maryland ; 
Dr. D. H. Fit/.hugh, residing upon the Canascraga four miles from Mt. 
Morris; James Fitzhugh, in Ohio county, Ky.: Richard P. Fitzhugh, 
on the Canascraga near his brotlier Daniel ; Hen.y Fitzhugh, in 
Oswego; m^. Dr. Fi'ederick F. Backus, of Rochester ;"Mrs. 
James G. Rirney, of Kentucky ; ^frs. Gerrit Smith of Peterboro ; 
Mrs. John T. Talman, of Rochester ; Mrs. Lieut. J. W. Swit\ 
of the U. S. Navy, residing at Geneva. A son, Judye Samuel 

l.H'ir tnu'i wiis i)niici|iiilly up Ituids ; a striuii,'.' clioicc it wn.s tlioiif,'lil at tlio time, 
wJiou X\\v\- wtTi' ,,lk'i'i'(l the Mt. .Mon-is tract, with its hfautifiil swoi'i.s .if tliits, at m,m 
per aoiy. l!ut they liad vumv IVdiii a n'i;i(.ii mIutc tiiiil)i'i- va.s ficaivo. aiul t'licv had 
loanu'd to apinvcian^ its value ;iiid wilii ivloiviici' to intrinsic relalivu valno i.i' soil ; 
tun.', and iin|iv,.voi systems of .■ultivation an- fust dcmonstfatini'- that their ehoice <if 
lands was lar li>s mjndieious than it iisod ♦ . be considenMh 'J'iie late iMajoi- ^'jjenm- 
told tlie authevthat the uplands uj.on his L. >• f, . ■>■ were wofth as mueh T)eV anv as his 
Hats. ' 

NoTK.— Tlie i^hiikei- settleuienf af the [iini'tion of the Kishaiiua creek willi flio 
taiuiseni-a atew mdesahove Mt. Miu'iis, wheiv llie (ieneseo Vallev canal entefs tho 
valley ol the ( anas.raoa. isa])ait of the ofi-inal Fitzlmgh and ('arroU tr-t Tins 
s.|eletv puivhascMl .if Dr. Fitzlin.-'., :; '■ «• years ^in.v. 17(1(1 acivs, for whi.'h toey paid 

f ,U,(I( ; an,! t.. whu'h they ha 'u,m1 s.'veral hun.lred a.uvs. Tlieir ...ijani/.atiou is 

after the nianner ..1 lli.. socieliOH at Niskavuna an.l N.'w Lebanon ; thev are enterpri- 
bin.u'and prnsp>.rous : (h.niselvesan.' ; h.^autiftil location one of the many ubiects 
-A Jiiterest ii, the soiulicni portion of our h)L'id" region. 

|i , kJ it 

l!r IS! I I 




Fil/Im-h, ;,(. Mt. M«rris, died in 1811) ; ;„hI :i y()un!.cr son. 
ItoLerl, .li.'.l ill (In.vchni.l. in 1N.'{(;. Tlu-re :uv over 80 (Icsceud- 
unts ul (Jul. Wni. riizjuiuli. 


Ifis coniioction with Messrs. Iloclu-slcr j.nd Fit/.himh, ;ind his 
.•idveiit to ;his ivoi(»n Willi them in IHOO, will Imvc hirn noticed. 
lie had pivvionsly in ttu; year 17i)8. with a bi-olher. Daniel Cnrroil, 
been here upon a four of exploration. They eanic via the Sus(iuo- 
hannah route, witii paek mules, made a general survey of the coun- 
try, were ])leased with it, hut made no investments as will he oh- 
served. until 1800. 1'heir residence in Maryland was at IJellevue, 
near 1ho;erstown : the earlier home of the family had heen ujion 
the site of the city of \Vashin,uton ; the cajHlal (.f die Tnited States, 
ii"w occupies a portion yf tlie estate of their father, Charles Carroll,' 
niio wa.s a cousin of • Charles Carroll of Cariollton." 

The author has little of the history of Major Carroll, disconnected 
with that of his associates. Messrs. Rochester and Fitzluio|i. He 
died at his residence in ( ooveland, in 1897, ajved (iO year.s. His 
hviiur sons are: — Charles (^irroll, the occupant of the homestead, 
recently the representative in (\.nnress of the Livingston and On- 
tario .li.strict, and a Stat.- Senator; Dr. ])aniel .). Carrol of New 
"^ovk: William 'J'. Carroll, a clerk of the Supreme Court of the 
ruited Slates. Dauuhters became the wives of Henry Fit/hnuh, 
of Oswego: I\ros(«s Tahhs, of Washington, D. C.; Dr. llard.ige' 
Lane of St. Louis. The (-Idest ..on was the jirivate Secretary of 
Mr. (lay, at tduMit : becoming soon :d'ter the clt-rk of his father 
who held the ..iHce of Kec(>iver at Franklin, Missouri, he was killed' 
in an alfray which occurred in that town. 

There came t.) the Cienesee country with Messrs. Fit/hugh, 
Kochester and Carroll, <ir at about the same time. Col. .Tonas Hog- 
inire, of Washington comity, Md., Wm. Heal, and .lohn Wilson, of 
Frederick couiily. Col. llogmire purchased of Mr. Wadsworlh, 
on the river, in Avon, um acres of land, upon which his sons Con-' 


1 , 



rad and Samuel Hosimire now reside. The father never emigrated. 
Messrs. Beul and Wilson purchased a large tract on tiie (^anascraga, 
in Sparta. 


Gil!)(M-t R. Berry, was the first permanent settler in what is no 
Avon.* He was irom All)any. He married the daughter of the 
early Indian trader, Wemple, wlio has been named in connection 
with the Uev. Mr. Kirkland. Enga,y;in<r in the Indian trade, he 
located first at Geneva, and in 1785), removed to the Genesee river, 
erected ;i lo^y house on the west side of the river, near the present 
l)ridji;(>, oi)ened a trade with the Indinn village of Canawaugus, es 
tahlished a ferry, and pntertained the few travellers that passed 
through on the old Niagara trail. He died in '9() or '7, and was 
succeeded by his widow. The Holl and Purchase being opened for 
settlnnent soon tdterwards, the "Widow Berry's" tavern was 
widely know in all early years, west of the river; and besides fur- 
nishino- a comfortable resting place for early Pioneers, in her prim- 
itive tavern, i^ome of the best wives and mothers of the Genesee 
count ry, were reared and fitted for the duties of life. Her daughters 
became the wives of Geo. Hosmer, Estp, of A\(;n, E. Clark Hickox, 
the early merchant of J?atavia and Bullah^ .lohn Mastick, Es(i., the 
Pioneer lawyer of Rochester, and George A. TiHany, whose father 
was one of the early ]).rinters of Canandaigua. 

Cajit. .Tohn Ganson, was the pioneer settler following Mr. Berry. 
Holding a commission in the Revolutionary war, he had accompanied 

'I'hi^i-i.'issmiu'tl tVointiu- l)cst iiiforniati.m the autlior hius bwrn able to olitsiin. 

WilliuH UicfwasiU Avon in llu' snine yoar, and must liavo sciili'il i'm-iv sunn allur 
Mr IUmtv Muiviina.ul Williiini Ih-slia, wove upon Iho " l)i'>lia l-lats," us oarly n.s 
ns'l .■hmiiiii" uiiil.T an Indian f;Tanl ; liut tiio title failin-,', tla-.y iviudvea to Canada. 
Tli.MV NvrivtluTe in tliat voar, be.sides, several lieads of fanulies. wlio afe supposed not 
toliav.. l,renpennaneuf settlers. Tlie son of the Wm. Riee named above, was the 
tirst horn up..i' tlie I'helps an.l Gorhan.'s I'nrel.ase. He wa. nmne, •Oliver 1 helps 
Uiee " .!ud"e I'lielps uave him an KKI aeres i.f land in Livoma, wlu.'h he oeer.pied 
when he beeanu' of a-e. Mrs. liiee was a «o<..l specimen of the slron- mn.ded ener- 
1\h- women, who were the 1 l;„ n.olhers of thisre-iun MulUd as a nudw.leand 
nur-e she wnt from seltlemeni lo settlement, and trom In- eabir to lo^^ .■abin. olren 
sum.i'vin- the i.laee of a phvsieian. Her manv aets of kindn.'ss are jtraleluliy remein- 
l fl 11 ' 'a riv I'iot.eers. Mrs. Gould of Lima, and Mrs. llhodes ol Gcausco, an- 


I I 

her daui,diiers. 



the expodition of Gen. Sullivan. Before the treaty was concluded, 
in 178H, he revisited the country, and selected a fine tract of land 
on the river, about two miles below Avon. Ills sons John and 
James wintered in a cabin in 1788, '<), ujKm the premises; and the 
father and family came on in the fall of 1780. During the fnllow- 
inc^ winter they erected a rude "tub mill " on the small stream that 
puts into the river on the Markham i'arm. It was a .'^mall lorr 
building; no boards could be had ; the curb was made of liewed 
plank ; the spindle was made by straightening out a section of a cart 
tire ; the stont's were roughly carved out of native rock. There 
was no b(jlt, the substitute being hand sieves, made of sjilints. It 
was a rude, ])rimitive concern ; but it would mash tiie corn a little 
better than a wooden mortar and pestle ; and was (juite an acquisi- 
tion to the country. It preceded the Allan mill a lew months, and 
if we shall call it a mill, it was the first in the Genesee Valley. The 
buckwheat that lias been mentioned, produced upon Boughton Hill, 
was ground or mashed in it, having been carried there twenty miles 
through tlui woods, by Jared Boughton, in the fall of 178!) ; and the 
producer, and mill boy (or man) lives to eat buckwheat cakes, now in 
the winter of 1850, '51. Borrowing the language of Shaks])care, and 
applying it to this one of the few survivors of that early period, may 

"Godil (lif^i'stiuu wail on iii)j)etite, 
Ami hoallli du botli." 

Capt. Ganson had claimed title either under the Indian grant, or 
under tlu' Lessees, which failed, and Col. Wm. Markham becam.e 
liis successor. He resided for several years afterwards, four miles 
east oi" Avon, on the main road. As early as 1788, about the period 
ot the conimencement of surveys ujton the Holland Purchase. Capt. 
Ganson, had jjushed on to the west side of the river, and purchased 
the i)ioneer tavern stand of Charles Wilbur, on the then vern-e of 
civilization, one mile east of the ])resent village of Le Rov. In this 
location he was widely known in early years. His iiouse \\as the 
liome of early land agents, surveyors, explorers and pioneer settlers. 
He was both loved and i'eared by the Indians; thev came t(j him 
for ct)unsel and advice ; and when they became turbulent in their 
drunken frolics and threatened outrage, he would quell thetn by his 
determined will, or with his strong arm. He was even ultra in his 
Revolutionary principles. When he came upon the river, he and 
the Butler Hangers — the tories of the Revolution, were far from 



beini? ngreeuble neighbors ; lie was impatient to see the last of them 
on their wny to Canada. 

'J'ownship 10, 11. 7, (Avon,) was sold by Mr. Phelps to " Wads- 
worth, Lewis & Co." Those interested in the purchase, wt-rc : — 
William Wadsworth, of Farmington, Conn., (a cousin of .lames 

and William,) Wells of Hartford, Isaiah Thompson, Timothy 

Ilosmer, and Lewis. The price paid was Is (Jd, N. E. cur- 
rency per acre; "a high price at the ))priod, in conseiiuenco of the 
hirge amount of open Hats." Dr. Hosmer, and Thomiison, were the 
only ones of the proprietors who became residents. ]\Lijor Thomp- 
son, who had not brought his family, died the first season, of hillious 
fever. His son Charles afterwards became a resident, ;nid died in 
Avon, nniny years since. Mrs. Tompkins, of Batavia is a grand- 
daughter of Major Thompson. 

Dr. Timothy Hosmer was a native of West Hartford, Conn. 
With a little more than an ordinary academical education, he be- 
came a student of medicine with Dr. Dickinson, of Middleton. 
But recently settled in practice in Farmington, at the breaking out 
of the Revolution, he entered the service of the colonies, as a sur- 
geon, in the Connecticut line. Serving in that capacity through 
the eventful crisis, he retired, happy in the recollection of its glori- 
ous result, hut like most of those who had achieved it, poor and 
pennyless, a growing family dependent on his professional services 
for support. In the army he had accjuired a high reputation in his 
profession; especially lor his successful treatment .of the small pox, 
at Daid)ury, where an army hospital hail been established for |>atients. 
The discovery of .lenner, having been but recently promulgated in 
Europe, its efficacy was a mooted question ; with a professional 
boldness which was characteristic of the man, he espoused the new 
discovery, and used it with gi;eat success. His mate, in the army, 
was Dr. Eustis, afterwards Secretary of War. 

Personally acquainted with jMr. Phelps, and hearing of his pur- 
chase in the Genesee country, partly from a love of adventure and 

iNoTK. — Jiiiiifs aii<l Joliii GiMisii 

o, ,. I ,, ... ., "" t lie siiiis. were nivlv IiiiHllords ;it Lo Roy and 

Ht.u,..i,l. Mv>^. WiiiToi. Lcn-kimi-t, isa .laiin-hfr. Jainc-s Causm is stiU 
Jiuny-, ai-o.s,,U,,t ot .liickson, .Mu-l.i-aii ; l,is sons, arc .)olm S. Gaii-m,, ,,f liuffiilo, 
1 rcsuuMit of ho Jiuiicol .\ttioa; Josoph (iansoii, .-. nu.roluiiit of J!i-ookiK,n. Ilira: 
t oi-iiolius aiK Coriioil. i-o,Hilonts(,fMiolui;ini. and aimtluM- son rosi.lo- 
llio sons ol .loliii Gaiison, aro Dr. Uolloii (iaiison of Ha 

in Mihvaiilvpc. 

• ,, ,;. , ,'"i' •"'•"• *""i"ii v.iiMMMi ui liataviii; Jolin (ian^dii. an .-Utor- 

lioy Jii l.iiUulo; luul Jiiino.s (imiHou, Ca.siiior of tliu .Marino Bank of iiuQUlo. 



new entcM-pnso, and partly to escape from alai-e practice that wa. 
re.iu.niiur too ,nuch of constant toil, in 1700, he visiteil this re-non 
111 company with Major Thompson, with whom, for themseU-os''and 
associates, he made the purchase of a township. Spendin-r the 
summer ol -DO in Avon; in -Ol he brought on his two sons. Fred- 
eiickand Sydney; erectin.s; a lonr house, the first dwellincr on the 
liresent site of Avon, where Mr. Merrill's house now stands. His 
whole lannly joined him in 1792. Coming into the wilderness, with 
other objects m view, he was forced by necessitv-bv the ab.sence 
ot others of his profession, to engage in practice, widch he contin- 
ued until relieved by others. Among the old pioneers who in those 
primitive days, were in detached settlements throughout a wide 
range, you udl hear him .spoken of; and especiallv do thev remem- 
ber Ins disregard of fatigue, his long, night, wood's rides, prompted 
more by a .spirit of benevolence than professional gain; his .rood 
humor, and the kind words he always ha.l t.. cheer the despoiidin^ 
settler wh<j was wrestling with disease, or the hardships of pioneer 
Ide J he Indians early learned to appreciate his profes.sional skill, 
and personal good oflices. They named him •' At-tta-.rus," the healer 
of disease. In a period of doubt as to their relations'wifh the new 
settlers, he helped to reconcile them and aven a threatened .langer. 
V\ hen Ontario was organized he became one of its Jud^res, and 
succeeded Mr. Thelps as first Judge, which ollice he held until he 
was sixty years of age, the constitutional limitation. He possessed 
naturally a fine literary taste ; and his well selected librarv was an 
ano.naly ,n the backwoods, hi his correspondence with Messrs. 
\V adsw.M-th and Williamson, which the author has perused, there are 
indicr.tions of the scholar, the poet,* and alw.n's, of ardent, enli<dit- 
ened patriotism. ^ ^ 

He died in November, 1815, aged 70 years. His surviving sons, 

! ::;; ''^^'"^•"' ^'^'•'■-. «o„l,l notlK. ..i,vn,ns.TilK..l il, il« limits t.Ml.o .hoU of 

tic I ; St.,t ' "'7' "^ •■•■"'■'■','""■. " '-^''''T". «H,1 that 1h. ...xt..M^i^,.|,„.v of 
Smij : ^^''"^■"■™" ''^' ^'"V''"H.,1 with th.-pvafstlarililv, andwitlia .h-r-v ofh.p. 

1'} >uiU,o„. : a,Ml ,t isthwvlure not a matter of suquisc, to .e. Frauce, who.u a nnif 


T— ?; 



most of whom ciime to- the country as junior pioneers, are William 
T., of Meadville, Pa.; George, of Avon, who in early years occu- 
pied a conspicuous position at the bar of W. N. York, the father 
of Wm. II. C. Hosiner, the author of " Yonnondio," "Themes of 
Sonif,'' and other poems ; who is justly entitled to the positifui that 
lias been awarded him in the front rank of American scholars and 
poets. Geo. Hosmer pursued his early studies under the tuition of 
the Rev. Ebenezer Johnson of Lima ; in 17i)9 entered the law 
oflice of the Hon. Nathaniel W. Howell, as a student ; and in 1802 
•svas admitted to practice, oi)ening his oflice in Avon, then the only 
lawyer west of Canandaigua. In the war of 1812 he was upon the 
frontier as the aid of Gen. Hall. He is now OO years of age. 
Timotiiy, the early and widely known landlord at Avon, resides at 
the Four Mile creek, near Fort Niagara ; Sylvester, in Caledonia ; 
Albert in Hartland, Niogara co. An only daughter of Judge Hos- 
mer is the wife of the Kev. Flavel F. BHss, of Churchville. Fred- 
erick Hosmer, deceased, was a son of Judge Hosmer; he was the 
first merchant at Avon ; another son, A. tSydney Hosmer, was long 
known ns a tavern keeper at Le Roy; he emigrated to Wisconsin, 
where he died in 1835. 

Colonel William Markham, who had first settled at Bloomfield, 
moved to Avon in 1790. In Bloomfield he had purchased an hundred 
acres of Innd, and paid for it with the proceeds of one acre of po- 
tat(»es. With the proceeds of tliat land, he purchased and paid for 
the fine farm on the river, now owned by his son, Guy Markham, 
which has rented tor !$1,000 per year. He became a useful, public 
spirited citizen, and his name is mingled with the reminiscences of the 
town, in all early years. He died in 1827, or '8. His surviving sons 
are ; Guy and Ira, of Rush, Wayne, on Ridge Road, near Clarkson, 
Vine, in Michigan. Daughters : — Mrs. Whitney, Michigan ; Mrs. 
Boughton and Mrs. Dr. Socrates Smith, of Rush. 

Gad Wadsworth was a distant connexion of James and William, 
and came in with them, in their primitive advent in 1790, in care, 
personally, pf the stock. James and William having become, by 
purchase from first hands, land proprietors in Avon, he settled 

liiivf fiiiii'liitlitiViiitlli.Mif liKlvpt-iidi'iice, ill Aiiicrii'M, vk'toriimsovi'iMlif tninidnsof des- 
pois. Anil it' I limy bo allti\v('<l the ]irivil('<;'t' of a prodiftioii, I i^lKlll liavc ln.t Utile 
iif'sitiiiioii ill iirououiu'ing, that tlie extirjiatiou of tyrants and tyranny from Europe, 
is but a ^niall remove from the present era." 











^f f 

tlioro in 1702, his ninn bein,<r what are now the fiirms of liis son, 
irtMiiy Wn.lsworth. aiul Asa Nowlon, upon wliich aro the Avon 
si)rinir^s. He died soon after IH20. nearly HO years old. Another 
son of his, Rieliard, inhabited that piirfof the farm upon wiiirh tiie 
sprinnrs are situated, and sold to Mr. Novvien. lie emigrated to 

IMajor Isaac .Smith was the early and widely known landlord, four 
miles west of the river, eomnienein<r th(>re as early as INOO. I'n- 
der his roof, a lartje pioj)ortion of the Pioneers west of the river, 
have I'ound rest and refreshment ; and from under it, it may ;ilso be 
added, have eome not less th;m half a dozen excellent wives aii.l 
mothers. They were : — Mrs. Isnac Sutherland, and Mrs. K. Kim- 
berly, of IJatavia, Mrs. John M'Kny, of (^idedonia, Mrs. A. Sidney 
Hosnier, formerly of Le Hoy, Mrs. Faulkner, (jf Dansville, and 
Mrs. Sylvester Hosmer, of Caledonia. S. W. Smith, .^f Dansville, 
an<l Nelson Smith, of ]\Iichi<ran, are sons of the early landlord. 

The n(<xt landlord at Avon, after Gilbert K. Rerry, w:is Nathan 
Perry. lie built a framed house, north side of square, on the site 
now occujiied by the dwelling of i\Ir. Curtis Ilawley. Perry emi- 
irrated to the Connecticut Re.serve, and was succeeded by Sydney 
llosmer, who nuide additions to the house. In 180(5 .lames Wads- 
worth buih the hotel on tlie corner, and soon after .sold it to Sidney 
and W. T. Hosmer, after which it was loni;; known as the Hos- 
mer Stand.* During the war, and for many years alter, it was 
kept by Tihiothy Hosmer. The old landlord "aiiil hr diady are still 
alive, the owners and occupants of one of the linest 'arms, in that 
region of fine farms, Niagara county. The first school hou.^e was 
a log one, erected a little north of the Episcopal church. .Judge 
Hosmer and the Wadsworfhs. built saw-mills on the Conesus, as 
early as 170G. The first meetings were held in the log .shool house. 
Judge Hosmer usually reading the Episcopal service. Mr. Crane, 
an Episcopal clergyman, and Rev. SamuoJ J. Mills, were early 
itinerant ministers. 

Jehiel Kelsey yet survives, of the early Pioneers of Avon. He 
has reached his SOth year. The old gentleman si)eaks familiarly of 
early events, of the [)eriod when not over twenty or t\ enty-flve 

■Prcvidiis 1(1 till" silc. li( 

liiiwt'vci-, T);iviil Finillnv iiml JosliuaLovcjov wiiiv iMTiipiintH. 
Lov(jjt..v ivmovcl to I'.iilthI,.. j;^" Scf nccuuiil' of llu' nuwsicru ol'.Mns. Lowiov, at 
tJie di'.siructioa ul' JJulValo, iu lli.storv of Jiulhuul I'luvliiise. 




iiK'ii cdulil In; i-iiiscd in all the UciieHce valley, to put a lui: bridf^e 
over I )(•('[) Hollow, in the n(nv city of Rochester. In 17J)8 he 
Itrounht the first carj^'o of salt that came from Ononda;ii;a, by water, 
and around the Portat^e, at Genesee Falls. He paid lor each bushel 
ol salt, a pound of pork, and sold his salt at 810 jier barrel. He 
well rcmenibors seeing companies of surveyors fitting; <nit, and load- 
iiijj; their pack hor.scs at Avon, to break into the Holland Purchase. 

In 180r>, a Ijibrary was established at Avon. The trustees were : 
A. Sidney Hosmer, .Job Pierce, .Toshua Lovejoy, .lehirl Jvelsey, 
Elkanah Whitney, .lames Lawrence, Win. Markham, George Hos- 
mer, Stephen Ilodi,fers. 

ill ISIO, " a number of persons be inij; stated hearers of llev. John 
F. Pliss, of Avon," met and organi/.ed "Avon Rcjligious Society." 
Samuel Bliss and Asa Clark presided. Trustees: — .Tohn Pierson, 
George Hosmer, Nathaniel Bancroft, .Tolm Brown, E/.ekiel Mosely, 
William Markham. 


Tlio ra]M(l]y incroasing colcbvity of Avon Springs a.s a sunn tier resort for 
invuliils, jileasure ]>nrlios, ami toinisls ; invite<l ;is well hy tlic healing waterji, 
n?\>\ clKirniing seencry, the bmail, cnltivated fields, and beautiful t'oi'ests, tliat 
suriduud them, will juiiliaps render some early reininiscenees of them nut un- 
inleresting: — They were known to the Jesuit Mis.sionarie.s, and Joneaire, un- 
der l'"n;neli duuiinion, and they recognizeil their usi- by the Indians, fui' ir;edi- 
cinal or healing jnu'poses. 'i'lie Seneca name tor them was " Can-a-wau-gus," 
(feiid. liad smelling water,) and tlieneo the name of their villa::.', in ihc im- 
mediate neighliorhood. When settlement eonuneured, sixty years since, they 
were surround<!i| by a dense marsh. 'J'Ik; waters of tho springs tlowed 
into a hasin or poml, covering a space of several acres, tlio margin of wliidi, 
wa< pure white sanil, thrown up by the action of the water. The watei's W(,'re 
clear and transparent, and shaded by the dark forest, the spot had a secluded 
and romantic as])ect. It was tirst noticed as a resort of the wild ]«igef)n. 
Indian paths were found leading to the spot, from tho old Niagara trail, and 
from the branch trails; and the Indians told the earliest settlers of the ellicacy 
of' tin.' waters in cutaneous diseases. vVt an early jierioil in tho settlement of 
the country, as many will remember, the mea.sles, (as it was called*) was 

* It tlie iiii'ilii'al faculty will excuse a non-])rof(!ssor for tho iutroduotiou of a new 
luuiic, in llii'ir\<n'aiiul;uv, it was tlie " Genesee ifcti," to wliichincua.s well as Miiiiiiiils 
vrci't' siiliji'ct in this retjion, when tirst cuinini,' here — cndeinical in its chararter — or 
rntlu-r inciJoifcil to forest lifu here. The Jesuit uiissiouaricb wero alliictcd with it. 







u iii 

£ us 





1.25 1.4 


^ 6" — 






WEBSTER, NY. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 

sr ^^ MP. 





preva ont amono: tl,e_ hoo.. It was oLsen-d, tl,at when thus afflictK]. tl.ey 

lentl} ortbatol-ject In early yoa.., Miss \Ven.],le, a si.ter of M,.. ulL 
upon e ,.e<..„,„u,Kanuno D..Hc™, bathed in an.l chank the waters, a.K 
vas ,ehe^ed; an.l other snn.Jar occuvrecl. Soon aft.T the war of'> 
visitors troni abroad be.Q-aij to resort to the Sprino^s, and Hiehard Wadsworth! 
at nesugges uon, and w,th the aid of George, Ks<,., erected a sn'al 
kahmg.stabl,sh.nent and shower bath. Afrerthe pnrohase of the prup.l 
bv M.. iNowlen, and the erection of a boardinij house by Mr. IhnXL a 
new nnpetns wasgnen to ^npro^•enlents; ^■isito;>; be^an tJ increase, tV^.n year 
to yeaiv improvements have been progressive ; nntil sick or uvil, the.^ is notpot 
moieinMting in western^ew Vork. Bnt a ],ioneer history was only intended 


_ Mr. Ilostner confirms tlie position, tliat the domestic lioo- will go back to 
bis native s ate, soon after he has re-entered a f.avst lif<.. In earlf ye k of 
s.-ttleinent, there were droves of h„gs, generally roaming ov^ the I 1 kN 
a ong the Genesee river, the immediate p.-ogenitors of .ddch ha,I be V ' 


.omesticated by the Indians, and those brond.t here by Bntler's ]{ , o.^. 

They w<.re wiid, as ,u: those now seen by Ca!itV,rnia adintnrei^ in cn,;si, ^ 

he Isthmns ot Panama. They Mere nntameable, and when wanted t U' 

wild '-ame '" "''"^'^''"° ^ ^' ''^ ^'^"^'^ ''"'" ^''''^''^ ^'""^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ''ti'«' 
• 11^795 Frederick Hosmer, attlie instance of Mr. Williamson, went to 
reside at the mouth ot the river. Erecting a Jog shantee, he kept a tl. 
goods to barter with the Indians for fnrs, and trade with the b Ltteann ..Ai 
used to make that a stopping place. George Hosmer was freuueiuh ^^i 
mn. British deserte.^ trom Niagara would frequently come down the Lake 
Lpon one occasion some deserte.s were followed bv a voung Lieutenant and 
agmu-dof 8 nien in a boat. Arnving at the mouth of tlurrivei, and W 
ign<.thingof therctugees,_tbe Lieutenant hunted and fished; lendin.- Is 
to^^lng piece to two of his soldiers who were goino-up to theFalb'tlcv 
too deserted. The Lieutenant pursued them to dr^m,Z S oneV b B td 

" md 0? £1^ '^^"''-^l'^ tliey werefieemg toson.e new^llemo!;;'!;!'^ 

land ot hbe.t3 «o rapidly, that he gave uj) the chase, and returned to Fort 

Niagara, minus wo of his guard, addcl to Ihe deserte s. The unt , ami' 

^"=::;;f tc:^-'^ '-' "^" -^ '^^ ^-^-'- -^ ^"^ ^-^'^ 

sol lierr;'? *!l "; f '''''" ^'"^^^^ ^^l' ^''^^^''^ ''^^ frequent a. soon as the 
soLheis knew that there we.e new settlements in this .juarter - placxs uf re- 
fuge ,- Lidians were iired by the British officers to pursue them and failin<v 
to arrest, to shoot the m. White hunters, and citizens visiting the Fort" 

falniSs'lJe'lv'sJ^fW^" NonviHe's arn.y,,.erc attacked ^ith thT^^^nJ^l^.. 
^X^:l:l:::::l^!^;'^'^^'' ----iterate, and otherwise n^oh4. diilbr- 



fflict.'fl. tliey 
• forest a}i|)a- 
Mix. \ktY\j, 
wati'is, aikl 
>ai' of 18 IL', 
cteil a small 

;llO lirnp(,'ity 

loiiulituii, a 
I', fii;iiiyfar 
no is no spot 
ly in tended. 

go back to 
y years of 
!io ti|ilanils, 

bei_-n ilioso 
s ]"t;iiio'ei's. 

Ill crossinfi" 
waiiletl fur 
fc like other 

II, Avont to 
kept ^ few 
luuii'ii tfcat 
lently with 
n tlie Lako. 
tonant and 
and liear- 
oiuliiio- Lis 
Falls,' t key 
L J)i'in'Iit(.in, 
lent in tlio 
led to I'uit 
he liei'o at 

oon as the 
aees ( )f re- 
nid failing 
the Fort, 

:im." '11)0 
W!iy would 
iully difll-r- 

nnd intondinpf to pass through the wikh^rncss to the eastward, wore furnished 
with a medal, or a token, to show the Indians thus employed, to iire\ cnt ar- 
rest. " Tuscarora,'' or "Stitf-amiod George," was thus employed, and he 
was one, of the worst speeimons of his race; a terror wherever he was known. 
Ho shot and scaljK'd several deserters, carrying his trophies to Fort Niao-ara 
for reward. Ui)on one occasion, wlien (Joorgo Hosmer was left to take care 
of tliH shantee in the absence of his brother' Frederick, Gooro-(« deiiiandod 
rum, which being refuseil, the Indian pushed him back against a post, and 
striking at his head with his tomahawk, the blow was averted, making an 
impression upon the post which evidenced the intention of the reven'\'ful 
sa\-age. Mr. Iloncher and his hireil man came to the rescue.* ° 

Ebenezer Allan was rather imposing in his appearance, usuallv mild and 
gentlemanly, but ho had a bold and determined look; could easily put on the 
savage character. IIo had acquired a distaste for civilized life. Mrs. Dii'mn, 
his sister, was mild and amiable — somewhat accomplished. ° 

_ The "On-ta-gua," or Horse Shoe Pond, a mile and a half bel.iw Avon 
village, abounded in line fish, especially large black bass, in an oaily day ; 
and it was also the favorite resort of ducks, goose, and other wild water fowl. 
Speckled trout wcmo plenty in the river, an.l in all the tributary streams. 
Thei-o was no pickerel, or pike, above the Genesee Falls, until ]R10, wlK-n 
William Wjidswortli, and some others, caught pickerel in Lake Oiit'irio, and 
other Lake fish, and i)ut them into Conesus Lake; and pickerel abound tiiere 
now; have been taken weigliing 20 lbs. As the pickerel came down from 
the Lake into the Genesee river, the trout disappeared. 

The most troublesome wild animals in early days, other than boars and 
wolves, were the foxes and wild cats preying upon die fowls, piireons preying 
npon the newly sowed crops, chipmucks, ravens, hawks, owls, wood chucks^ 
and black stpiiri'cls. There were a few turkey buzzards upon the ri\er, and 
a few turkeys npon tlie uplands; several panthers were killed. The crow, 
the grey squirrel, the quail, came in with civilization. New species of bii'ds 
have been coming in almost yearlj-. The opossum is a new couior. 


Paul Davison, in the summer of 1788,t about the period that Mr. 
Phelps was negotiating his Indian purchase, in company with his 
brother-in-law, Jonathan Gould, came from the valley of the Sus- 
quehannah, to look out a new home in the Genesee country. Passhio- 

* He finally met his deserts. Enlisting as an ally of the western Indians against 
Wiiync, lie was among the killed. ^ 

tif tlio aiitlier's informant is rorrect in the year, this was the first advent of an 
hou!ielwld west of the Adam's settlement, iuBlooiiitield. 




the last white habitation at Geneva, tliey pursued tlie Indian trail 
to the present town of Lima ; where, finding a location to suit them, 
they erected a cabin and commenced making an opening in the 
forest. Going to the Indian lands at Canawaugus, they plorited and 
raised a patch of corn and potatoes. Their location was about one 
mile south of the Indian trail, near the west line of the town. Af- 
ter some improvements upon their cabin, such as the luxury of a 
bark roof, and a hewed plank floor, and gathering the small crop 
they had raiserl upon Indian lands, they returned to the Susquehan- 
nah, and in the spring of 1789, Mr. Davison, with his family, con- 
sisting of his wife and her mother, and two children, came to make 
his permanent home in the wilderness. He was accomi)anie(l by 
Asahel Burchard, The family and household implements were con- 
veyed in an ox cart, Mr. Davison and his companion sleeping under 
the cart, and the family in the cart, during the whole journey. 
Their route was Sullivan's track, the whole distance from the Sus- 
quehannah to where the Indian trail bore off in the direction of 
Canawaljgus. They had bridges to build occasionally, and logs to 
cut out, before they left the track of Sullivan ; after that, they had 
their own road to make for the greater part of the way to the place 
of their destination. The journey consumed three weeks. Mr. 
Davison raised a crop of oats and turnips, the first of any kind raised 
in Lima ; and in that and a few succeeding ye-ars, cultivated Indian 
lands at Canawaugus. For two years, the family pounded all their 
corn in a stump mortar, getting their first grinding done at the Al- 
lan mill. Cai)tain Davison and some of his Pioneer neighbors, took 
six or seven bushels of corn to Canawaugus, hired an Indian canoe, 
and took it down to the mill. On their return up the river, their 
canoe ui)set, and their meal became wet and unfit for use ; a small 
matter to make a record of, some readers will say, and yet, let them 
be assured, it was no small matter with those new beginners in the 
wilderness. In 1790, Mrs. Davison's mother died; it being the 
second death in the Genesee country after .settlement commenced. 
A daughter of Captain Davison, who became the wife of James 
Otis, of Perry, Wyoming county, was the first born white female 
west of Geneva. Captain Davison died in 1804, aged 41 years, 
after having become a successful farmer, and the owner of a large 
farm. Mrs. Davison died in 1844, aged 80 years. 
Dr. John Miner and Abner Migells, had settled in Lima, in the 



summer of 1790 ; and it is presumed that Mr. Burchard liad tlien 
brought in his family ; as his name, as the head of a family, occurs 
in tiie census of that period. He still survives to enjoy the fruits 
of his early enterprise and life of toil. ■' He was," says a corres- 
pondent of the author, "always a kind and good neighbor, and much 
esteemed by the early settlei-s." 

Lima was cal' ^d, in arx early period, " Miles' Gore," the fraction 
of a township having been purchased in the name of Abner Miles, 
or Abner Migells, as the author finds it on some of the early records.' 
According to the recollccticns of William Henchcr, he must have 
left Lima soon after settlement commenced there ; as he was early 
engaged with his father in trading trips to Canada, and erected a 
public house at Toronto in the earliest years of settlement there. 

The brothers, Asahel and Matthew Warner, Miles Bristol, and 
others, who were early and prominent Pioneers in Lima, the author 
hopes to be able to speak of in another connection. At present, he 
has not the necessary datas. 

Reuben F. Thayer must have settled in Lima before the close of 
1790. The venerable Judge Hopkins, of Niagara county, was in 
the fall of 1789, with a number of companions, returning to New 
Jersey, after a trading excursion. Passing Canawaugus, they as- 
sisted Gilbert R. Berry in erecting his first log house ; and the next 
day, finding a " settler just arrived by the name of Thayer, with 
logs ready for a house," they stopped and assisted him. 

Wheelock Wood came to Lima in the winter of 1795, Incatino- 
upon the present site of the college, where he commenced clearinc" 
and erected a log cabin. He remained there a few j^ears, and re- 
moved to Livonia, and from there, in 1807, to Gainesville, Wyoming 
county. He died in 1834. 

In an early period of settlement in Lima, ancient remains, and 
relics of French occupancy were to be seen in various localities. 
The "Ball Farm," so prolific in these, and so often alluded to by an- 
tiquarians, is within the town. Upon the farm of Miles Bristol, a 
short distance west of Lima village, upon a commanding eminence, 
the embankments and ditches of an ancient Fort were easily traced! 
In ploughing upon his farm, in early years, Mr. Bristol picked up 
several hundred pounds of old iron, chiefly French axes. 

James K. Guernsey, in connection with the Nortons, of Bloom- 
field aud Canandaigua, and afterwards upon his own account was 




the ear y prominent merchant of Lima. He removed 'to Pittsford, 
where he died m 1839. George Guernsey, of Michigan, is his son ' 
Mrs. Mortimer F. Delano, of Rochester, is his daughter. For m^ny 
years, his stare m Lima commanded the trade of a wide region 



chased T 12, R. 2 now Palmyra, and commenced the survey of it 
-nto farm lo ., m M^rch. Jenkins being a practical surveyoif bu 
a camp on the bank of Ganargwa creek, about two miles below the 
pesent village of Paln.yra. His assistants were his nephew, Al! 

pheus Harns, Solomon Earle, Baker, and Daniel Ransom. One 

mormng about 2 o'clock, the party being asleep .n their bunks, thai 
fire givmg hght enough to show their several positions, a party of fonr 
Tuscarora Indians and a squaw stealthily approached, and the Indi- 
ans puting their guns through the open spaces between the logs, se- 
lected their victims and fired. Baker was killed, Earle, lying upon his 
bacK with his hand upon his breast, a ball passed through his hand 
and breast, mutilated his nose, and lodged under the frontal sinus 
between h.s eyes. Jenkins and Ransom escaped unhurt, and en- 
countering the murderers- Jenkins with his Jacob staff, and Ran- 
som with an axe - drove them off, capturing two of their rifles and 
a tomahavvk In the morning they buried their dead companion, 
earned Earle to Geneva, and gave the alarm. The Indians were 
pursued and two captured on the Ciiemung river. Tlie nearest jail 
being Johnstown, it was feared they would be rescued; if an at- 
tempt was made to carry them there ; what in later years would be 
called a Lynch court, was organized ; they were tried and execu- 
ted at Newtown, now Elmira. The execution was after the Indian 
method, with the tomahawk. They were taken back into the 



woods, and blindfolded. One of the executioners dispatched his 
TMCtiin at a blow ; the other failed ; the Indian being a stout athletic 
fellow, parried the blow, escaped, was followed by a possee, who 
caught and beat him to death with stones and pine knots ! This 
was the first trial and execution in the Genesee country. Horrid 
and lawless as it may now seem, it was justified by then existing 

During the summer, John Swift moved into the township, erect- 
ingj^a log house and store house at "Swift's Landing a little north of 
the lower end of Main street, Palmvra. 

Before the close of the year 1789, Webb Harwood, from Adams, 
Berkshire county, with his wife came in and erected a cabin on the 
rise of ground near first lock west of Palmyra, upon the farm now 
owned and occupied by Dennison Rogers. He was accompanied' 
by Noah Porter, Jonathan Warner and Bennet Bates, single men. 
The author is disposed to regard Harwood as the Pioneer, although 
it is generally supposed that Gen. Swift had previously brought in°a 
family. No family but that of Mr. Harwood and David" White 

K'oTE.— The I'lJian party had their hunting camp neiirtlie aurvevors. and had seve- 
ral times shaved tlieir provisions ; tlie incentive was huii;,'er. One 'of them that 
escaped was " Turkey" well knmwn m after vears ujion tlie Genesee river. He had a 
s.^ar upon his face, the mark of a blow from Ileukin's Jacob staftl IJuiim.- the war ot 
1812, he contracted the small pox upon tlie frontier ; came to Scpiak v llFll. The In- 
dians dreading the spread of the disease, carried him to a hut in the piiie woods near 
Moscow, where lie was left to die alone. Earl rci; )ve!ed. He was the early ferry num 
iit the Seneca outlet. Tliere have been many versions of tiiis aflair. The author de- 
rived his information from the late Judge Porter, and from Judge JoJin H.Jones, whoso 
informants were Horatio Jones and Jasper I'ani^h, wlio were' present at the trial and 
execution. He has a-lso a printed account of it in the Maryland Journal, of April 17.><9. 
Alpheus Hivrris waslidng a few years since, if ho is i.ot'now, at Sjiauish Hill, a few" 
miles from Tioga Pohit. He says the Indians were " tried by committee law." 

XoTE. — John Swift was a native of Litchfield Cotmtv Connecticut. He took .an 
active part in the Kevolutionar^ war, and at its close, with his brother Philetus was 
an emigrant to the disputed territory in Peiinsvlvania. He held a commission, and 
was at the battle of Wyoming ; and wa.s also engaged in the " Pennamite " war, where 
he set tiro to a Pennamite block house. He became a conimissionod otficer 'in the 
earhest organization of the militia and in the campaiirn of 1S14 iip<jn the Nia^'ara Fron- 
tier, he was co.nmissioned as Brig Gen. of N. Y. voluuteeis. In reconnoiU'rinf' the 
enemy's position and works at Fort George, he captured a picket guard, and while in 
the act of receiving theirarms, one of the prisoners shot him through the breast ; an at- 
tack from a superior British force followed ; tlio wounded General ralhed his men, 
commenced a successful engagement, when he fell exhausted bv his wound. "Never"' 
Bays an historian of the war, "wa.s the country calknl upon to lament the loss of a firm- 
er patriot or braver man." The Legislature voted a sword to his oldest male heir. 
The gift fell to Asa R. Swift of Palmyra who was (h-owned in Sodus liay in l!^20 or -21 
by the upsetting of a boat wlule engaged in fishing. The sword is now in the Innds 
of Henry C. Swift, his .son, a resident o.fPhelps. His companion Ashley Van Duzer, 
was also drowned ; his widow a sister of Mrs. Gen. Brooks, became the wife of Gen. 
Mills ot Mt. Morns, ami now resides at Brook's Grove. The Rev. Marcus Swift, of 
Michigan is a sou of Gen Swift. 




IS enumerated in the census taken in the summer of 1790. Mr 
Harvvood died in 1824. Wrn. Ilarvvood, of Ann Arbor, Midi, 
igan IS a son of his; his daughters becauie the wives of Isaac Mace 

oi lerry, Wyoming co, and Coe, of Kirthmd, Ohio. 

The settlers that followed, in 1790, 'gi, '92, in the order in which 
tliey are named, or as nearly so as the author's information enables 
him to arrange them, were: -Lemuel Spear, David Jaekways, 
James Galloway, Jonathan Millet, the Mattisons ; Gideon Durfee 
the elder, his sons Gideon, Edward, Job, Pardon, Stephen, ami 
Lemuel; Isaac Springer; William, James and Thomas Ri-rerT; 
John Russell, Nathan Harris. David Wilcox, Joel Foster, Abraham 
Foster, Elias Reeves, Luther Sanlbrd ; and to what was Palmyra, 
now Macedon, in addition to those that have been named, Messrs, 
Reid, Delano, Packard Barney, Brown, Adam Kingman, Hill, Lap- 
ham, Benj. and Philip Woods. 

Lemuel Spear, was a soldier of the Revolution, as most of the 
Pioneer settlers of Palmyra were. He was from Cun.mington, 
Mass. The family came on runners, before the breaking up ot the 
ground in Feb '90, with two yoke of oxen, some cows and sheep, 
having little more than a bare track and blazed trees to guide them 
from Vienna to their destination, a mile above Palmyra village, where 
Mr. Spear had purchased land of Isaac Hathaway, for twenty cents 
per acre. The season being mild, they turned their stock out upon 
the open flats, some of which had been cultivated by the Indians, 
where they got along well through the winter and spring; the fam- 
ily consisting of the parents and nine children, living in a covered 
sleigh and in a structure similar to the Indians camp, until they had 
planted a few acres in the si)ring, when they built a log house. 
Bringing in a year's provisions, and killing deer whenever they 
wanted fresh meat, or bartering for venison with the Indians, they 
got along very well until after the harvest of their few primitive acres 
of crops. In the first winters, the Indians camped upon the flats and 
w^ere peaceable, good neighbors, hunting and trapping, occasionally 
getting a beaver, the last of a colony, selling their furs and skins to 
traders and bantering their surplus venison with the new settlers. 
Lemuel Spear died in 1809; his surviving sons, are: — Ebenezer 
Spear, of Penfield, Abraham Spear, of Jeddo. Orleans county, 
Stephen Spear, residing upon the old homestead. A daughter is 
the wife of Dr. Mallory, of Wisconsin. 



Ebenezer Spear is now in his 78th year. Leaving Palmyra in 
early years he went to sea, engaged in mercantile business in Bos- 
ton, returned to Palmyra in 1804, married for a second wife, a 
daughter of Francis Postle, an early tailor in Canandaigua and Pal- 
myra, from the city of Prague, in Bohemia, moved to North Pen- 
field in. 1807. He was one of the Carthage Bridge company, and 
opened a tavern at Carthage, while the bridge was cor-tructing. 


In 1790, after we had got settled at Palmyra, the wife of our predecessor 
in the wildorness, Webb Ilanvood, in a delicate state of lieaUh, prececUiig 
child-bii'tli, I'eqiiired wine, and her indulgent husband determined ujion pro- 
curing some. At his request, I went to Canandaigua, found none — to 
Utica, and was equally unsuccessful — and continuing my journey to 
Schenectady, j^rdcui'ed six quarts of wine of Charles Kane. I was fourteen 
days making the journey on foot, carrying my provisions in a knapsack, 
sleeping undei a roof but four of thirteen nights. 

Our tirst boards came from Granger's saw-mill on Flint Creek, several years 
after we came in; Captain Porter built the tirst framed barn, and my father 
the next one. 1 burned the tirst lime kiln west of Seneca Lake, for General 
Othniel Taylor, of Canandaigua. In 1794, or '5, Abraham and Jacob 
Smith built mills in Farmington, on the Ganargwa Creek; previous to which, 
we used to go to The Friend's mills in Jerusalem. The tirst corn carried to 
mill from Palmyra, was by Noah Porter. He went to Jerusalem with an ox 
team in '90, carrying corn for all the settlers, taking leu days in going and 
retui'ning. His return to tlie settlement was hailed with great joy, for } nvmd- 
ing corn was very hard work. Our cotfee was made of burnt com; our tea, 
of hendock and other bark ; and for chocolate, dried evans root was frequent- 
ly used. 

David White died in early years — the first death and funeral in 
Palmyra. His sons weve, the late Gen. David White, of Sylvania, 
Michigan ; Orrin White, a resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan ; and 
Drs. James and William White, who reside at Black Rock ; a 
daughter married Col. Otis Turner, of Niagara Falls. Ber'-''tt 
Bates is still living at Ridgeway, Oneans county ; is the fathei 
of Lyman Bates, of Ridgeway, and Orlando Bates, of Jeddo. 
Noah Porter died in early years ; he was the father of Mrs. Sey- 
mour Scovell, of Lewiston, and John Porter, Esq., of Youngstown. 




Jacob Gannett was an early settler, and founder of the mills near 
Macedon Locks. 

The Durfee family, who have been named, were from Tiverton, 
Rhode Island. In the summer of 1790, Gideon and Edward came 
first to Farmington, and Gideon returning in the fall, represented 
the country so favorably, that the whole family resolved upon emi- 
gration. Gideon, with Isacc Springer, came buck in the winter of 
'90, '91, with an ox sled, consuming 17J days in the journey. 
Gideon purchased of John Swift his choice of IGOO acres. He 
located it on what was long known as " Durfee Street," a short dis- 
tance below Palmyra, securing a large amount of the ilats on the 
Ganargwa. Being soon re-joined by iiis brother Edward, the 
brothers and Springer built a cabin, and clearing six acres, and 
without the use of a plough, planted it to corn. The brothers re- 
turned to Rhode Island, and brought out their brothers, Pardon and 
Job, with their families, coming in a batteaux, and landing at their 
new home in the wilderness, almost destitute of food. They were re- 
joiced on their arrival to find their corn fit for roasting, a forward- 
ness they have never since known. It served them the tv,o-fold 
purposes of food, and confidence in the soil and climate. The six 
acres yielded 50 bushels to the acre, a quantity that served their 
own wants and over-stocked the market, as there were few con- 
sumers.^ The remainder of the large family came out in the winter 
of '91, '2. They had a large crop, some of which was marketed 
at Schenectady, probably the first that ever reached that market 
from as far west as Palmyra. Otherwise prosperous, sickness soon 
laid a heavy hand upon the large household, 17 out of 22 being 
prostrated at one time with fevers. Their first bread was made 
from pounded corn ; their first grinding was procured at Wilder's 
mill, and occasionally at The Friend's mill, Jerusalem, 

The descendants of the Pioneer and Patriarch, Gideon Durfee, 
were 1 1 sons and daughters, 9G grand-children, and the whole num- 
ber are now over 200. The daughters became the wives of the 
Pioneers, Welcome Herendeen, of Farmington, Weaver Osborne, 
Humphrey Sherman and William Wilcox, of Palmyra. The only 
surviving son, is Stephen Durfee, of Palmyra, aged 75 years ; and 
the only surviving daughter, is Ruth Wilcox, aged 76 years. 

Elias Durfee and IMrs. Thomas Lakey, of Marion, Elihu Durfee, 
of Williamson, William, Isaac, Lemuel, Bailey Durfee and Mrs. 



Brown, of Palmyra, Mrs. Wicks, of Ogden, Mrs. Edward 8. Town- 
send, late of Palmyra, Charles Durfee, ot New York, Pliilo Durfee. 
of Bullalo, Sidney Durfee, of Chicago, Allen, Barton and Nathaniel 
Durfee, of Michigan, are among the descendants. 


There was general prosjieiity in the early settlement; all were friendly; 
mutual de])endenee iiiado us so; and stnijrgling with the hardships of pionet-r 
life, tliero was a fellow feeling, u sympathy for each other's misfortune's, but 
little of which exists now. The fii-st curse that came upon us was whiskey 
distilleries, when the new settlers would take their corn and rye, and get them 
con\'erted to what wiis the cause in many instances, of their ruin, and that of 
many of their sons. There was not only habitual, every day drinking, but 
much intoxication. I saw so much of the evils of intoxication, that I refrain- 
e<] entirely, and was almost alone in it. I think the first temperance movi- 
ment, practical one, in all this region, was made by me when I raised my 
house in 1811. When I invited my neighbors to the raising, I gave out that 
no liquor would be pronded; and although it wiisa new experiment, 1 ha^i 
no difficulty in raising my Strict temperance was not then a disci- 
pline with the society of Friends to which I belonged, but aftenvards be- 
came so. 

In the way of markets, our eiuliest grain mostly went to the distillericN 
and supplied the new settlers. After Zebulon Williams, the early merchant 
established his store, he commenced a barter trade, receiving for goods, grain 
and cattle. Money was .scarce ; those who were pretty well off wei'c trouble'! 
many times, to pay their taxes, and much property used to be saci'ificed at 
public sale. W^illiams wiis the fii'st cash purchaser for wheat, but the prices 
were fluctuating; running down sometimes to 37+ cents. One of my neigh - 
1)ors once sold his wheat in Rochester, for twenty-five cents. 

In early yeara we couU hardly believe that settlement would go much be- 
yond the Genesee River, dui'ing our life time. We thought we were quite 
far enough to the west ; as far removed from markets as it would answer to 
venture ; and we that had seen the hardest features of pioneer life, wei'e surju-ise'l 
to see or hear of men attacking tlie dark hea^■y forests of the Holland Purchase. 

Our fii'st commerce was the navigation of the Ganargwa creek ; then cam.i 
the ''big wagons," and then the Erie Canal, that ga\e usf;ur, steady prices 
for prod uce, raised the value of lands, and brought on a new era of enterprisie 
and prosperity. 

The Indians, were hunting and traj^ping, camping in our neighborhood, in 
all tlve eailiest years. The flats of the Ganargwa, and tlie adjoining up lands 
were favorite hunting grounds. Many of the sons of the early settlers were 
trai)i>ers. It was about our only means of obtaining any money. I have re- 
iilized from muskrat and coon furs, 850 in a season. I caug'ht a beaver in a 
trap that I set for otter. Henry Lovell, a famous hunter was here in early 

3S4 riiELrs and ooeuam's rcKcnASE. 


tW Smt-J^ If 1 hV '°™,'-' '?"" »'P"'i»'ti"'l. Join. Swift ,VM 

too^'inl'^oJT"'i '''*'' ^'^'^'""''1^'''^ '''^^'>' ^'""t*^^ «f P^'l'^vr^; and fisherman 
of C WniiSf:rcriT'" M?'^"'r^"^^''^' ^^-^^ ti. present rcia^^e 

&e '• m to .vlvi^^^ a» early convert to Mormonism, and mortgaged Lis 

nue laim to pay for the printing of the " Gold Bible."* b o " "'^ 

Zebulon Williams, who has been mentioned by Stephen Durfee, 
as the early merchant, died several years since, his widow survives, 
a resident at the old homestead. Piatt Williams, of California, who 
was early engaged in canal transportations at Albany, and Richard 

in- the broom stick aw) 1 i ?„ f ■i^l'ilW<ma floor, snap and catcli 'em, junp. 
sports, t]K x°™a .oanl cm V th*!,";;'';] ' *" "Tt^ \^' ^ast. / All joined iu the'ru.tlc 
ladv, "the dan cs we e w^^^^^^ Canai.daigna " continued the old 

a h red ehl in ■imilta en '"^'"' n»"^^^ ,f'"t tliere was no aristocracy there; thonjrh 

Ld 1 ,fce w th S'r 1 n''\- ?"^'":' ""'/ ^^"•-''' ^^■■"■'°^' I "««fl to attend the ffi 
Colt D \t«.,t , ■ ■ '^"'l ^^fe'"st"s I'orter, Th<,mas Morris, Samuel and J ud^ 

v-tiitts ui inc past, one alter another, woiild flash upon her memory; 



Homer and Zebulon Williams, are his sons ; Mrs. Hiram P. Tliayer, 
of BufTiilo, is his daufjthtor. 

Stephen Phelps was the early landlord in the village ; afterwards 
the surrogiite of Ontario county. Tlie site he occupied, is now that 
of Nottinifham's Eagle Tavern. He emigrated to Illinois in 1820. 
Enoch Lilley was another early landloni ; his wile was the daughter 
of the Rev. Eleazor Fairbanks. Preceding either, however, wis 
Dr. Azel Ensworth, who was a brother-in-law of William llodgers, 
and had come into the country in '92, and first settled in his imme- 
diate neighborhood. After keeping a public house in early years, 
in Palmyra, in the early start of Rochester, he was the founder of 
the Eagle Tavern, and for a long \)er\oA he and his son were its 
landlords. He still survives, a resident of Bufialo, with his son-in- 
law, }3enjamin Campbell.* 

Silas Stoddard was from Groton, Conn. ; had been at sea, in the 
merchant service, emigrated to Palmyra in 1801, landing first at 
Sodus. He died in July last, at the age of 91 years ; his intellect 
and physical constitution but little impaired previous to his last ill- 
ness. Col. James Stoddard, known of late years as an intelligent 
horticulturist, is his son ; now a resident of Palmyra, aged 66 years. 
He served an apprenticeship with Col. Samuel Green, of the New 
London Gazette, and emigrated to Palmyra with his father. From 
him the author obtained many early reminiscences. In 1804, he 
\vas in the employment of Major Samuel Colt, who had commenced 
merchandizing in Palmyra, and had charge of two Durham boats, 
which JNIajor Colt owned at Palmyra. Loading them with flour 
and j)ork, he went down the Ganargwa creek to Lyons, and from 
thence to Schenectady. Among his companions, were Gilbert 
Howell, Cooper Culver, John Phelps, and Wm. Clark. The party 
were one month going and one month returning ; having merchan- 
dise for their return freight. About the time of the building of 
these boats, says Col. Stoddard, land transportation looked discour- 
aging; the merchants of Geneva, Canandaigua, Palmyra, Ithica, in 
fact all who did not depend on the Susquehannah as an avenue to 
market, held a consultation, and concluded that business must be 
done via the Rivers, Oneida Lake, and the Mohawk ; and to en- 

* At the Pioneer Festival in Rocliester, in 1850, he was pie.9cnt, and the medal was 
awarded to him as being the earliest Pioneer present. 



courage them, stone locks had been built, at Rome and Little Falls. 
Many boats were built ; for a few years business was brisk, but it 
proved too tedious and expensive ; too dependant upon high nnd 
low water. Even land transportation, over bad roads, successlully 
competed with it. 

" The first trip we made," says Col. Stoddard, " in passing through 
Oneida Lake, we stopped at Vanderkemp's settlement, now Con- 
stantia. Mr. Vanderkemp had erected an expensive dam, .a large 
saw mill and grist mill, and there were eight or ten framed and 
some log dwellings ; but one single family however, all the rest hav- 
ing been driven off by sickness.* When I landed with my father's 
family at Sodus, Mr. Williamson's settlement had much declined, 
and there were many deserted tenements between Sodus and Pal- 
myra ; sickness having driven off the occupants. I have known 
periods when a majority of all the inhabitants of the Ganargwa 
valley were prostrated by svers." 

Henry Jessup was the early tanner in Palmyra, and still survives, 
his sons being his successors in business. His partner for many 
years was George Palmer, of Buffalo. 

William Rogers came in with his brothers, James and Thomas, 
in 1792, a widower, and his brother James dying in early years, he 
married his widow. The family were from Rhode Island. William 
was one of the early Judges of Ontario, one of its representatives 

in the Legislature, and a 


prominently identified with 

the history of Palmyra and Ontario county. He died in 1836, aged 83 
years. Major William Rogers, so favorably known to the travel- 
hng public in the early years of canal navigation, as a packet master, 
the father-in-law of Pomoroy Tucker, editor of the Wayne Sen- 
tinel, is a surviving son. He is now the occupant of a fine farm 
near Pultneyville ; as stirring and energetic as when he used to 
sing out : — " Hurra, i", the lock ready ? " — or beat up the quarters 
of the sleepy drivers in dark and rainy nights. A daughter of his 
was the wife of Noah Porter. Gen. Thomas Rodgers, and Denni- 
son Rodgers of Palmyra, are surviving sons of James Rodgers. 
Thomas Rodgers preceded his brother, and assisted in the survey 
of the town ; of his family, only his son David remains in Palmyra. 

*The loiinder of this settlunicnt tlio fatliorof John J, Vaiidcrkonip, of Pliila- 
doljihiii, ihe y:i'iiti;il jif,'C'iif of tlio Holland Co. lie soon abandoned the entcjprise, and 
reinu\i;a lo Oideubaruuvcidl," [Tiuuloii,] Oueiduco. 



The first winter after Judge Rodgers came in, the neighborhood 
was without salt. Learning that some had been brought up as far 
as Lyons, with a hired man, and an ox team, he cut his own sled 
path, and after three days hard labor, returned with his salt. 

Zackariah Blackman was the early blacksmith. John Hurlburt, 
a brother of Judge Hurlburt, who was the Pioneer of Arkport, on 
the Canisteo, became a resident of Palmyra in 1795. His widow 
is now living at the age of 81 years. He set up a distillery as ear- 
ly as '96. He died in 1813. * William Jackway, who came in 
with Gen. Swift, died in 1849, aged 91 years. John Russell, who 
was one of the front rank of Pioneers, upon whose original farm 
a portion of the village lias grown up, removed to Henrietta in 1821, 
where he died but a few years since, from the effects of the kick of 
a horse. John Russell was the step-father of Augustus Southworth, 
of Holley ; Mrs. Russel now resides in Rochester. 

Reuben Town was the earliest settled Physician in Palmyra. 
He removed to Batavia iii early years. He was followed by Dr. 
Gain Robinson, as early as 1800. Dr. Robinson was from Cum- 
mington, Massachusetts. He married the daughter of Col. John 
Bradish, the father of Gov. Bradish, who was one of the early set- 
tlers of Palmyra. He continued in practice until his death, in 1880, 
enjoying a large share of professional eminence, and highly esteem- 
ed in the wide circle of his practice. There have gone out from 
under his instruction a large number who hare conferred credit up- 
on their early mentor ; among them may be named : — His nephew, 
Dr. Alexander Mclntyre, who for many years practiced with him, 
and is now his local successor ; Drs. James and William White ; 
Dr. West, of Cayuga county ; Dr. Isaac Smith, of Lockport, 
(deceased;) Dr. Whippo, (now an engineer;) Dr. Durfee Chase, 
of Palmyra; Dr. Gregory of Michigan. The surviving sons of 
Dr. Robinson, are : — Clark, Darwin, and Rollin, of Buffalo. 
Daughters :— Mrs. Philip Grandin, of New York ; her husband 
was an early merchant in Palmyra ; and IMrs. Judge Tiffany, of 
Adrian, Michigan ; Mrs. Hiram Niles, of Buffalo ; and Mrs. Geo. 
Pomeroy. f 

* A toast of the early Pioneer, in one of tlio early years, at a Fourth of .July oele- 
bratiun, is worthy of prcsorvalioii. The wisli has' been fully realized: — "May wo 
cullivate the vino and sheaf in this new world, and l'\n-nish the old with bread." 

t.Tuikri! TifTany is a son of the early printer at ^'■iaLrara, C. W., luid Canandfugutu 
Mr. Tomeroy is one of the founders ot' \V elL-j & I'omeroy's Express. 



_ The first lawyer in Palmyra, was John Comstock, who al«o mar- 
IdHa:.Sr^'^'-^-^^^^- "^ -- -eside. Zr 
In the year 1789, Joel Foster, Elias Reeves and Luke Foster of 
Long Island, became the agents of a company that had been form 

d m Connecticut New Jersey and Long Island, for the purpose of 
leasing lands of the Indians ; an organization similar to L L see 

JCHned by others, they traversed the wilds of Virginia, and return- 
mg to the north, struck the Ohio river, and followed it down to the 
desirable location called Turkey Bottom, where they purchased a 
daim to a large ti-act, and left Luke Foster to keep possession for 
th winter, Joel Foster and Elias Reeves returning to take on a 
coon3 of settlers in the spring. An act of Congress interfedn^ 
with their title or possession, frustrated the enterprise. "Turke^ 
the west '" ^''"''' ""^ ^''"'' ^'''"'' Cincinnati, the queen city of 
Thus disappointed,, and Indian wars growing more threatenincr at 
the west, the Long Island adventurers turned their attention tolhe 
Genesee country Elias Reeves, Abraham Foster, William Hop- 
kins, Luther Sandford and Joel Foster, in the summer of 1791 
bought 5,500 acres on the Ganargwa Creek, in East Palmvm' 
spotting a tree and planting some apple seeds, an earnest of fheir 
m ended occupancy. In April, 1792, they built a sail boat, launched 
1 m Heady Creek, embarked with their families, towing down the 
stream to South Bay, and sailing up to New York, and from thence 
to Albany, where they took their boat out of water, transj.orted it 
on wheels to Schenectady, launched it in the Mohawk, ami from 
thence came to Lyons ; and obtaining a smaller boat, ascended the 
Ganargwa Creek to their new wilderness home. The journev con- 
sumed 28 days. Most of those named, became prominent founders 
oi settlement, and have left numerous descendants. 


Me P;^.!,,,,.',., "'■'Ill -I'll. niiii> J. I'o.stei, fi (k'sceiidaiit ol one of 1 ho Pkiijopvh 

tL ul\ ,""'■ "* *'f ^•"^t'"'«"* t''° cliok.m at Saiulusky, in tliosu.n.nor of 848 

,.i-"„.ii^„Ti(UaiJOxa, aided m laying tiie fouudaUoua of (society and tiwse 



It is stated by the Rev. Mr. Fisher, that a Presbyterian church 
was organized in 1793, i-n Palmyra. If this is so, it was the first or- 
ganized church west of Seneca Lake. Mrs. Tice, a daughter of John 
Hurlburt, says their first religious meetings were conversational or 
social meetings, not sectarian, generally held at the house of John 
Swift. It is recorded that the Presbyterian church in Palmyra was 
organized in Sept., 1797; the trustees elected : — Jacob Gannett, 
Stephen Reeves, David Warner, Jedediah Foster, Jonah Howell! 
The first settled minister was the Rev. Eleazor Fairbanks, who was 
succeeded by the Rev. Benjamin Bell. 

Jonah Howell erected the first mill, a mile east of the village, on 
the Vienna road ; this was followed by one erected by Gen. Swift, 
on the site occupied by Goddard's mill. 

The first death in Palmyra was that of David White ; the first 
wedding was that of William Wilcox and Ruth Durfee ; the first 
male child born in town, was Asa R. Swift, a son of John Swift; 
the first female, the daughter of David Wilcox, who became the wife 
of Alva Hendee. 


His father, John Cuyler, of Greenbush. had been (at what period 
the author is unable to state,) a General in tiie British service. 
He was a resident of Greenbush, opposite Albany, an attorney at 
law. It is presumed, that when Mr. Williamson arrived in this 
country, upon his agency, he found in him an old acquaintance, as 
he is one of the first with whom he held correspondence, and he 
was one of his first legal advisers. As early as 1793, his son, Rich- 
ard, was in the employment of Mr. Williamson, as was his son Wm. 
Howe Cuyler, several years previous to 1800. 

Soon after 1800, Wm. Howe Cuyler became a resident of Pal- 
myra, having become the local agent of Mr. Williamson, for the 

bk'SfSi'd iiis^titutions wliich arc now tlio supjiort and ornanu'tit of ooinnimiitv Tho 
logciuls ul those tiriiCH are adoniLvl with tlie names of feiiialfs tliat slioiild diNcoiid to 
postcnty, and ],v cinlialined in tlicir most jiTatcful recollections. We oftt'ii wonder if 
the mantle of those veneniteil matrons liave fallen uiiou the wives of llie present day • 
With all the improvements m modern edncation, are they better qnalitied fo make 
ha].py homes ? Have tliey larKer hearts, better minds, pun-r patrioiism, wrn'm'T z«al, 
iu every jjood work '(" 




sale of lands in the north-east portion of what is now Wayne 

county. Sawyer, the brother-in-law of John Swift, who 

had an interest with him in the original purchase of the town, wish- 
ing to return to Georgia, where he had formerly resided, sold his 
property to Major Cuyler, in 1805. Included in this sale, was tlie 
old Cuyler farm, upon: which a considerable portion of the village 
of Palmyra lias grown up. 

Upon ihe breaking out of the war of 1812, Major Cuyler v/as early 
upon the frontier, as the aid of General Swift.* " Stationed at 
Butfalo, he was the active co-operator with Lieut. Elliott, in the 
preparatio-^s for the gallant exploit of capturing the British vessels, 
from under the walls of Fort Erie, on the 8th of October, 1812. 
In anticipation that the expedition would return with wounded men, 
he had been engaged through the night in making preparations for 
their reception. Anxious for the fate of men who had engaged in 
so hazardous an enterprise, before day light in the morningrhe had 
rode down upon the beach, towards Black Rock, when a chance 
grape shot, from a British battery, at Fort Erie, passed through his 
body, breaking the spine, and killing him instantly.f It was the first 
sacrifice of the war, on the Niagara frontier; the first and one of 
the dearest of the many sacrifices ot western New York, in all that 
contest. And it may also be added, that Gen. Scott being near 
him, it was his first introduction to the terrible realities of war, of 
which he wa^ destined to see so much through r lonj^ and brilliant 
military career.J After the war, his remains were removed to 
Palmyra, and are now entombed in the rural cemetery, which the 
citizens of that village, with much of good taste and public spirit, 
have within a few years added to their flourishing village. 
In civil life. Major Cuyler was a man of much energy and enter- 

. ...T^i" ""tJ^o'' !>«» «ii enrly epdcnce of liis military spirit and ambition. When some 
of the earliest military organizations were going <fn I'n Steuben, he wa.<, a resident at 
?„ il?^f r° •*^';' ^^'"''""'°'\ ■^^'- Williamson beingin Albany, the young a p ant 
^military d.stmctum. wrote to Wrn ; - " You arc the only field^officcT in the He" - 

?ZuT\ "\^°"' ""irTi ^'"/l''™lvc tl'c duty of maki.fg proper recommendatioT.k 
L™^^ ^'T"^ '^1* \ 'r*-' \"''\'' nmavymnn for about twelve years past, and 
o T.v If T " M™//'" H^''"^' '""^ ^^'*t I ""^ look for promotion.-^ I should like 

the duty of Adjutant Geuerfd m the several brigades, now devolve on th»t olHcer." 

t The Rhot is now in possession of his sister, Mrs. Smith, of Auburn. 

t He had just been promoted to the rank of Lieut Colonel, and had nnived at Black 
Ilock, m command of two companies of U. iS, Artillery. 



prise ;